Tests at school can be a fairly stressful experience for children. From our experience, children are more anxious and worried about tests when they are not properly prepared. While ample preparation will never completely alleviate the stress and worry associated with sitting a test or exam, it can definitely help reduce these levels to enable your child to be effective and productive when in the test environment.
Here are our top tips for preparing your child for their next test or exam:
Practice makes perfect! This is an old saying, and it speaks a lot of truth. The best way to learn anything, young or old, is to practice. Completing worksheets and practise questions is a great way for your child to cement acquired concepts in their memory and identify any areas in their learning the needs more practice or explanation. Practice doesn’t need to be in the form of a test or exam. In fact, completing homework and practice worksheets or questions outside of a test environment allows a more relaxed learning environment. The more confident your child feels with these practiced concepts, the lower their anxiety will be when facing questions using these same concepts in a test environment.
2 Now practice under test conditions
Some of us thrive under pressure while others can flounder. This is the same for our kids. Tests and examinations for children can be daunting and downright terrifying. Test conditions can feel like punishment for young kids, sitting in silence and concentrating – all while being under the pressure of a ticking clock. Completing practice questions under test conditions is an excellent way to familiarise students with the testing process and with what to expect. In fact, we believe that there is a process to sitting tests and exams – and we help prepare students using this process to help them manage their time and questions once inside the examination room.
3 Make a Timetable
This timetable is not for your child; this is a time table for you. While your kids are studying for a test, your involvement is essential. By creating a timetable of practice tests and topics that your child will be completing you will be able to follow their progress. This can be a bit daunting as a parent! If you’re unsure of how to start understanding your child’s progress, speak to your closest Lynn’s Learning centre today. We offer free assessments where we can identify any gaps in your child’s learning and provide a verbal report on their current progress in the classroom.
4 Remove Distractions
No television, radio, music, mobiles, iPad or messenger. A recent study showed that when distracted it can take on average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to being focused on the task. Checking a message, or changing a song will distract your child. One hour of focussed study is the equivalent of 3 hours of study with distractions. By removing distractions, you will be making study easier for you and your child.
5 Make a Study Area
A designated study area does not need to be a dedicated study room or desk in a child’s bedroom. A spot at the kitchen bench or kitchen table is just as good if there are minimal distractions. A good study space requires room to spread out books and paper, good lighting and a comfortable chair.
6 Group Study
Studying in group environments help students learn how to concentrate when among peers. This is particularly important for test preparation as almost every test or exam your child sits will be in a room with other children. Being in a group of peers means being able to concentrate when distractions are around, and also means being able to feel confident when the child beside you might be going faster. Both of these things can negatively affect a child in a test if not addressed prior.
7 Practise Active Listening
As parents and carers, we are fix it kind of people. We multi task because there aren’t enough hours in the day if we don’t. Efficiency is fantastic, however, in situations that involve kids and learning, efficiency needs to go out the window. When kids come to us with homework or study trouble, they are most likely already a bit frustrated. We want to identify the problem and solve it quickly. When we do this, we often forget to listen to the question that our child is asking. Answering the wrong question could confuse and frustrate them further. The main tip here is to listen carefully to what they are saying, identify the issue and if you are not 100% sure of what they are asking you, take the time to clarify the issue. If you are still unsure how to answer or help, it’s time to either ask the teacher or enlist the help of a tutor.
8 Make it Fun
Learning is fun, the reaction of excitement when a child grasps a concept that they have been learning and can confidently answer a question is priceless! It is of vital importance to your child’s development that it continues to be fun.
Lynn’s Learning tutors tailor programs to suit each child’s learning abilities. The Lynn’s Learning mission is to encourage appreciation of learning, through expanding and exploring your child’s creativity, imagination and logic. We not only help children learn concepts in the classroom, but also help prepare students at all ages for sitting tests and exams. Contact Lynn’s Learning for information on how to optimise your child’s study skills and to help them better prepare for class testing and exams.