Cracking competitive exams is mandatory to obtain admission in the top higher educational institutions in India. For your teenager, with no previous experience of appearing in competitive exams, the thought of competing with his peers from all over the country can be overwhelming. But there is no need for him to panic. Here are some tips on how you can help your teen prepare for competitive exams.
1. Setting a clear goal: Setting definite career goals early in life will help your child reach where he wants to go. Help him pick up his goal based on his interest. Do not impose your aspirations on him, if he is not interested. Help him explore his strengths and limitations. Once he has set a goal for himself, he will know where he should concentrate his efforts. For example, suppose your teen has set for himself the goal of joining the armed forces, he will focus his efforts towards preparing for those exams meant for a career in defence services. He will not waste his time studying for other exams.
2. Devising a study plan: Once your teen has set a goal for herself, assist her in creating an effective and realistic study plan. Time management is an essential ingredient in the recipe for success. Ensure that your child’s study plan outlines the time to be allocated to various aspects of the syllabus and also for regular revision. Get her the study materials on time so that she need not waste time waiting for them.
3. Working with a daily time table: Following a clearly laid-out daily plan helps to manage time effectively. Encourage your teen to break down his work into time-bound, simpler tasks. Demonstrate this skill yourself in carrying out your everyday tasks and inspire him to follow your example. Make sure he has enough breaks in between study. You can join him in his breaks and do something that you both enjoy, for example, listening to a song, playing a quick board game, etc.
4. Staying motivated: Minor setbacks in your teen’s exam plans are normal. Don’t let this affect her motivation. Encourage her to go for her best. Give her pep talks when she needs it more. Treat her with simple gifts or genuine words of appreciation whenever she achieves her significant target milestones.
5. Adopting a healthy lifestyle: Healthy lifestyle and habits go a long way in the success of your child. Ensure he has healthy food and proper rest. Keep him away from junk food and late night-outs and anything that drains his energy and diverts his attention.
6. Practising constantly: The adage ‘practice makes a man perfect’ is quite true. Encourage your child to take as many mock tests as possible before she sits for the actual exam. This will help her improve her timing, boost her confidence and enhance her chances of achieving better scores.
Finally, as a parent, cheer up your child and let him know that you are proud of his efforts in preparing for the exam. Your support will help him look forward to the future with a lot of hope.
Always remember - “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” (Sir Winston Churchill)