Parents: ways you can help during exam season
Is GCSE exam season soon approaching for your child, causing you a bundle of stress and worry? Don’t worry, your situation is shared by thousands of British parents, each wondering how they can offer maximum support before the time comes. Whilst sending children for tuition is a great way to enhance progress, parental involvement is just as important. Every child deserves the greatest educational investment from those around them. Here are 5 tips to guide you in your preparation process…
1) Consistently check their understanding
Revision guides are students’ best friend. With condensed notes that are ‘straight to the point’, it allows them to read, re-write and memorise. But remember, simply memorising is not efficient without understanding. And without understanding, undoubtedly your child will struggle. Once they have read their topics, pick out keywords and ask them to define them in a manner that they can do so without hesitation. Ask them to explain certain processes such as the carbon cycle in biology or state 5 linguistic features. If this can’t be done, they simply do not understand concepts as well as they should and thus, more revision needs to be done. Remember to be consistent!
2) Practice spelling, punctuation and grammar
In almost every subject your child studies, basic SpaG is a requirement. Without it, they WILL lose marks they could most easily have gained. Give them short spelling tests of 10 words every so often and repeat them until they are able to spell complex words with ease. SpaG revision guides and websites are easily accessible for you to work through with your child for at least half an hour per day. This will help them to be concise in their exam answers.
3) Plan answers for essay based subjects
Subjects such as History, English and Religious Studies require essay based writing skills. Often, students struggle more with these styles than subjects such as biology which entail either a right or wrong answer. Past and possible exam questions are available online and on exam board websites and should be taken advantage of so students know what type of questions to expect. Particularly for English, encourage them to write a piece per week incorporating different purposes such as describing, informing, arguing and persuading. Read it with them and give constructive criticism
4) Give them exam questions to complete in timed conditions
Timing is crucial in exams. Not spending enough time on a question can cause students to lose many marks and spending too long on others, can meantime is being wasted on less important questions. Ensure that you are strict with timing so that children learn to write in the times given and move on when required. If timing is an issue for your child, constant timed essays and mini-tests are perfect for time management.
5) Emotional investment
The constant ‘have you done your work? combined with the pressure to get good grades, fear of failure and need to keep up with one’s social life can be overwhelming. Ensure you’re asking your child if they’re doing okay. Offer them your time to talk to get things off their chest. Remember, they are young adults who also suffer from surrounding demands. By doing so, they know they are not alone and can function with healthier feelings.