Mrs Mac’s exam tips….for parents!

It’s all in the preparation
How do you eat an elephant? A little bit at a time. The same goes for revision, so make sure they give themselves enough time to revise every aspect of the exam. No one is going to do their best if they are cramming months of revision into a week, a revision timetable is the best approach.

How much is enough?
Research has shown that revising in 20-30 minute periods works best as after that concentration starts to wane. After each slot encourage them to take a 5-minute break before moving onto another subject.

The best time to revise
Revision started in the morning is more productive than in the afternoon when tiredness kicks in, as does the temptation to go out with friends.

Reward a good day’s work
It’s important to get the right balance between work and play so suggest something fun for them to look forward to for when they’ve finished the day’s work, perhaps an ice cream, their favourite film or meeting a friend.

Physical activity
If your child is revising daily for an extended period of time then exercise is even more important than usual. Physical activity increases the heart rate making blood circulate faster and in doing so, increases productivity and reduces tiredness and stress.

Be there for them
There’s a lot of pressure on children to perform well in exams and whilst some take this in their stride, for others it’s overwhelming. Let your child know you are there for them to talk to if they are struggling and if they won’t talk to you, find someone they will talk to.

The day has arrived
When exam day arrives, make sure they have packed their equipment the night before (including revision notes if they have two exams that day), give them a good breakfast (avoiding high sugar foods) and ban last minute cramming.

And finally….keep it all in perspective
It’s not the be-all and end-all if they don’t get 100% in every exam and sometimes, removing that pressure means a child goes into an exam less stressed and comes out achieving more.