The dreaded second term doesn’t have to be dreaded at all. At least, not if you plan in advance.
The dreaded second term has arrived. I say dreaded because it comes with the gloom of exams. However, if you plan ahead it doesn’t have to be an awful term at all. But still, give me back the first term any day! 😉
As much as we might hate them, exams are an indicator as to how well your child understands the school curriculum that has been taught in the classroom.
We’ve written many blog posts about exam preparation, but a key factor we want to drive home is early preparation.
Follow these exam preparation steps …
1. Create a Place to Study
A place that is quiet with minimal distractions or interruptions is an ideal study environment. Keep the workspace tidy and make sure that study notes and books are organised and easily accessible.
2. Create a Study Plan
Your child must start by organising their life and learning to prioritize. They mustn’t leave studying until the last minute in order to prevent cramming. Cramming does not benefit long-term memory retention.
The present school system calls for long-term retention because the entire year’s work is tested in the fourth term. Studying habits that focus on knowledge retention means an easier study programme later in the year.
Your child will also benefit greatly from using WorksheetCloud for exam preparation as part of their study plan. WorksheetCloud is specifically designed to help your child revise and prepare for tests and exams throughout the year by providing worksheets and practice exams (with memos!) in English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science and Life Skills.
If you need help creating a study plan, we’ve got a step-by-step guide to help you.
3. Improve Time Management
Cramming causes anxiety. Help your child to create a balanced study plan. Why? So that your child is able to study each subject in its entirety. This should ultimately boost their test performance. Studying in 15 – 30 minute intervals with 5 to 10 minute breaks is definitely more beneficial. Allow plenty of time for revision. Your child should study unfamiliar concepts first (the one’s that need more attention) while their brain is more alert, followed by the material that comes more easily.
4. Do Homework
Be aware of what your child is expected to do for homework. If homework is done effectively it should highlight problem areas. Look out for warning signs and act on them immediately. Be honest about what needs attention.
Consult with the teacher, follow advice and practice – it does make perfect. For example, practising timetables and bonds in Mathematics makes a huge difference. A great free web app you should use for timetables and bonds practice is MyMathsApp.
If your child knows the basic concepts it makes it easier when preparing for exams. Start summarising work taught in class, make lists and get a good understanding of the basic terminology used in different subjects. Make sure that your child understands the content of what has been taught. Reviewing what has been taught that day can also be very effective and help with memory retention.
5. Pay Attention in Class
Encourage your child to ask if they don’t understand something, and to be part (an active participant) of the lesson. This not only benefits your child’s learning, but also greatly encourages your child’s teacher.
6. Know Your Child’s Personal Learning Style
This will definitely help your child maximize their learning. Remember, we are all different and we each have our own way of studying. Finding your child’s learning style will help assist optimal studying and yield better results. Read my previous blog post When Should You Start Preparing for Exams for more advice on learning styles.
7. Try these Revision Techniques (irrespective of Learning Style)
- Use flowcharts and diagrams
- Practice old exam papers (try WorksheetCloud!)
- Explain answers to others
- Organise study groups with friends
- Take regular breaks
- Maximize practice testing (again, try WorksheetCloud! It’s great for practice testing.)
- Highlight, re-read and summarize notes (before actual studying takes place)
In a Nutshell …
- Study frequently
- Study according to your learning style
- Eat correctly – drink lots of water
- Have the necessary supplies (notebooks, pens, highlighters) ready and available
- Sleep well
Boost your child’s confidence to lessen their fear and anxiety during exam time. Have realistic expectations. Encourage them to set goals (realistic goals) and help guide and nurture them to achieve these goals.
Inspire your child and help your child to understand the value of studying, and of having a solid education. Help them understand that they must give themselves the best possible chance at a bright future.
Have any exam preparation hints of your own? Share them with us in the comments section below …