Tips for Preparing for an Exam
Taking exams can be a hard time for any child. Here are some tips to help you and your child ace their exams.
1. Divide and Conquer. Try to divide the lessons that have to be reviewed and studied. If the lessons are too many and are about different subjects, the child may have a difficult time.
2. Move around. Try various activities to enhance the review process. You can use games ( eg. memory card game, bowling, etc.) and other activities that involve movement to make the process more enjoyable. Many studies have shown that children are able to understand and memorize lessons better when these are experiential and engage the various senses.
3. Schedule a routine. Follow a regular study routine for the week. This technique will help the child get accustomed to setting aside time to study on a daily/weekly basis like he does for his other activities. This will decrease his negative reactions to studying and reviewing since it takes away any surprise element. This also helps him realize that review is needed on a regular basis, not just for an assignment or a test.
4. Plan ahead. Schedule the review for specific lessons and subjects on different days to make the process clearer and to be able to focus on related concepts in the materials to be reviewed.
5. Stay focused. Help the child become more ready and organized in preparing and reviewing for a test. Make it a habit to ask the child when his short and long tests are and together, draw up a schedule, with the help of a calendar. for reviewing.
6. Shake things up. Keep changing the review games/activities so that the child does not get bored with them.
7. Take breaks. Keep in mind that the learning process is better when a child is rested, feels well, and is not hungry.
8. Be disciplined. It is important to keep to the scheduled time for study ( eg., 3:00-4:00 pm). Avoid making this longer or adding to the exercises especially if the child looks tired. You can take a break and engage in enjoyable activities (eg., watching TV, reading a playing with blocks, etc.)
9. Figure out your child’s learning style. Observe the child during the review activities to find out the learning style he favors or that is most effective for him (eg., studies easier lessons first before difficult ones, listens to music while studying). It is important to remember that children are different from each other and learning styles is an area for difference.
10. Support your child. It is important to let the child know that his parents support him not only when he succeeds but also when he fails. The child should be able to understand that he should not be afraid of failure because this is part of life and is an opportunity for growth and learning. Remember to be calm and patient when explaining lessons that are not clear and are difficult for a child to understand.
Finally, remember that entering elementary school is a big step for the child and involves a lot of adjustment. Thus, he should discover the pleasure of learning and being in school so that he is not intimidated. He needs his parents’ support in all aspects of his growth and the assurance that their love for him is not determined by the medals and trophies given by the school.
Jeanne Christine Ramos-Co is an educational consultant and teacher. She earned her teaching degree from the University of the Philippines and had taught children in preschool and the early grades for the past 12 years. She had also conducted workshops and trainings for school principals, teachers, health workers and mothers.