Revision is somewhat of an art form that some students pick up naturally and use successfully. For those that do not, the act of revising for exams can be an ordeal that puts them at a disadvantage. Revising for an exam is vital to ensure that the child is fully prepared for the knowledge that is being tested.
Parents can help in many ways to ensure that their child is making full use of the time available before exams to prepare. Here are some suggestions that can make a real difference:
- Recognise the importance of exams and the preparation time needed to do as well as possible.
- Reward the effort made to revise.
- Help maintain a positive environment in which to work.
- Communicate the importance of revision to the family and make revision a normal event that occurs regularly in the house everyday over the revision period.
- Nominate a quiet place for revision, where disturbances will be kept to a minimum and where work and revision notes can be kept safely.
- Actively encourage the display of key revision notes, posters and timetables around the house e.g. clear the family notice board and encourage your son or daughter to fill it with key revision notes; do the same on the back of the toilet door!
- Strongly recommend short periods of revision – absolutely not longer than 90 minutes without a break (Breaks should be regular and plentiful throughout the day – and most importantly enjoyed!) Enable the provision of relaxation time, especially away from the place of study.
- Communicate with other members of the family so that the personal space of the child remains quiet and books are not disturbed.
- Be available / on hand to give help during the revision period if it is requested – even if only moral support – it all counts!
- Encourage revision to happen at opportunistic times – remember effective revision does not always have to be planned out days or weeks in advance.
- Let the child revise with relaxing music but not the television or other distractions.
- Insist on plenty of sleep. It is an absolute priority that children go to bed at a sensible time and then get up at a sensible time so that the day can be properly used, with plenty of breaks.
- Encourage nutritious food and especially find time to provide a very healthy breakfast.
- Find time to listen to your son or daughter’s problems as this will help stop them from becoming too stressed.