It’s that time of the year again – the annual and board exams are almost here and children across the country go into a frenzy collecting notes and previous years’ question papers to make up for lost time. As parents, we also feel their anxiety and prepare ourselves for late nights and early mornings of studying and revision.
However, all of this stress can be avoided, if you get your child to start her preparations early and systematically. Revision is a well-known and often ignored formula for success in exams. However, children tend to put it off till the last minute, as it forces them to analyse all that they have learnt, or rather, missed out on during the year. However, a systematic revision process can solve all these problems.
Here are a few tips on revision that will make your child feel better prepared for exam time.
Tips for revision
- Ensure starting early: By that, we mean, months, and not weeks or days before your child’s exams are scheduled to begin. Starting early will take the stress out of this exercise and he can focus on learning and memorising rather than hurrying through the textbooks to finish his syllabus.
- Create a quiet corner: Set up a space in your house where your child can study without any distraction or noise. Make sure that she keeps her study material in an organised manner, because chaos leads to confusion. Also, make sure that this space is free of any gadgets as they will only distract her and make studying harder.
- Adhere to a timetable: The first step is to set realistic goals. Know your child’s skills and limitations and accordingly allot each subject the time he needs for revision. Once you have a timetable in place, make sure he sticks to it at all costs. The goal is to understand, learn and remember what he reads and not just finish the chapter and move on to the next one.
- Provide practice papers: Practice makes perfect and this certainly holds true for revision. Give your child practice examination papers and set a deadline by when she should complete each paper. This will give her enough practice for the real event and she will learn to manage her time efficiently as well.
- Encourage breaks: Your child should not study or revise for more than two hours straight. If he does that, he will stop comprehending what he’s reading and just try memorising by rote. Breaks are necessary to refresh the brain and help in learning. However, ensure that the breaks do not go on for longer than necessary.
- Give snacks: Snacking while eating can help your child focus and not fidget. What’s better is that there are certain ‘brain foods’ like dried fruits and fresh fruits that help increase concentration and memory power.
- Write and recall: Ask your child to write a summary of what she reads. To do this, she will have to understand what she reads and then memorise it. Once she starts writing, she will also remember her notes for longer.
- Build a learning game: Some formulae or theories are hard to recall. For example, many children find it hard to memorise the periodic table. You can help your child by building a learning game around it. Invent mnemonics to memorise each element of the table or come up with interesting phrases to help him remember a formula.
- Ensure enough rest: Getting enough hours of sleep is critical in helping your child perform better in examinations. Make sure she gets enough sleep and feels fresh enough to start her revisions the next day. Burning the midnight oil is not always recommended.
- Conduct mock oral tests: This is the best way to learn and memorise subjects like History, Geography, Civics, Biology and Chemistry. Set apart an hour and go through chapters by quizzing your child about what he has learnt. However, make sure you don’t threaten him or show your frustration when he fails to answer some questions. This will make him doubt himself and he will feel demotivated to revise further.
Timely preparation will help your child perform better in exams. However, if she’s facing trouble in comprehending the basics of a subject, it might be a bigger problem. Consult her teacher or an expert and arrange for tuitions or extra classes on that subject.
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