Achieving success on tests and exams doesn’t come from any single thing – it’s about the right mix of preparation, concentration, and effort. It’s easy for students to become overwhelmed by pressure or stress about an upcoming test, but there are ways to help them overcome these feelings to ensure that your child goes into their test feeling confident and ready. Here are some strategies you can use to help your child prepare for an upcoming test and ensure that they are making the most of their study time at home.
- Make a Study Schedule
Working with your child to create a study schedule leading up to a test or exam can help alleviate stress and eliminate any potential cramming or procrastination. Putting aside half an hour to an hour a day for your child to focus on studying can make a big difference without overwhelming your child.
- Create a Designated Study Space
Giving your child a designated workspace in a well-lit area of your home can help motivate them to study. Allowing them to decorate and organize the space will also give them the feeling of ownership over the space and make it feel welcoming while working there. Ensure you provide them with helpful study supplies such as pens, highlighters, post-its, and notepads.
- Test Practice
You can help your child to prepare for a test by using interactive approaches such as flashcards, completing practice tests, or even creating a “Game Show” where you act as host and ask your child quiz-style questions (you can even have prizes for correct answers). Studying doesn’t have to be boring! Making studying fun can help their retention and make them feel more excited about learning and reviewing the materials.
- Review Possible Test Questions
Looking at your child’s class notes and textbooks together with them and asking what topics and issues their teacher puts extra importance on can assist you in helping your child to prioritize the information. You can also go over any study questions or help them take study notes from recommended reading materials to help them get started and for them to review at a later time.
- Praise Effort
After making a study schedule together, reviewing materials, and setting some goals, remember to celebrate your child’s effort and dedication leading up to (and immediately after) their test or exam, regardless of the outcome. Working hard, managing time, and establishing strong study habits are skills that will help your child inside and outside of the classroom throughout their life. Making studying a positive experience and celebrating both small and big victories can go a long way in helping to promote a love of learning in your child.
Using these tips, along with the basics like making sure your child gets plenty of sleep the night before the test and a healthy breakfast the day of, can benefit your child’s effort, outlook, and success. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast the morning before a standardized test have significantly higher math, spelling, and reading scores than those who do not., and have better brain function, attention, and memory. You can read more about why a good breakfast is essential for students here.