Taking an exam for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience for a young student,
but they do not have to feel anxious or upset about the exam. To help your child prepare,
you should educate yourself about the test. While you can’t take your child’s exam for them,
you can help them study and provide a supportive environment. Reassure your child about
the exam so that they do not become anxious. On the day of the exam, make sure that they are well-rested and well-prepared.
Learning About the Exam
Read over the exam procedures. It is good to know what material will be on the exam and how the exam will be structured.
Knowing what your child will have to do will help you prepare them. You can consult the testing website, their class notes,
or the school for more information regarding the exam. Some questions you may want to answer include:
When is the exam?
What is being tested?
Is it multiple choice? Are there essays? Will the child have to show their work?
How long is the exam?
What supplies will they need (pencils, calculators, etc.)?
Does the test accommodate certain learning differences?
Contact their teacher.
Your child’s teacher will be able to provide the most up-to-date information regarding the exam.
They will also be able to help you identify your child’s weak points so that you can help them
study more effectively. Email the teacher to set up a conference. You might ask:
How has my child been doing on their practice exams in class?
How can I, as a parent, help my child?
How long should my child be studying for this exam?
What happens if my child does not pass?
Find a practice exam
Find a practice exam. If your child is taking a standardized test, you should be able to easily locate practice exams.
These exams are often tests that were given in previous years. They can help your child learn not just what type of
questions are on the exam but how the exam is structured and formatted. You can find these exams online on
the examination’s website or through your child’s teacher.
If your child is not taking a standardized test, a practice exam may not be available. Instead, consult their notes
and textbooks to see what type of information might be on the exam. You can test them from this material.
Consider hiring a tutor.
If you are concerned about your ability to help your child study, you can hire a tutor.
There are many tutors who specialize in different types of exam. You may also ask
an older student who has already taken these exams. You can find a tutor by searching
a childcare website or by contacting a local tutoring center.
Studying With Your Child
Schedule study times. At least two weeks before the exam, you should start scheduling regular periods
in the evening to study. You may decide to have your child study for an hour every weekday and
give them the weekend off, or they could devote an hour every other day.
Organize a timetable for the period running up to exams. Mark when your child will study on each day.
By encouraging a consistent schedule, they will form a healthy studying habit.
If you are having difficulty filling an hour with studying, you might organize your sessions by task.
For example, you might ask them to finish twenty math problems or write one essay. These tasks may
take different lengths of time, but they will still help your child prepare.
Find a quiet place to study.
Your child will need a quiet place where they can study undisturbed for their examination.
There should be no distractions, such as TV, in the room. You should make it clear to other family members,
such as younger siblings, that the child is not to be disturbed while they are studying.
This will help your child’s concentration as they prepare.
Good places to study include the child’s bedroom or the kitchen.
While the child is studying, minimize noise in your home. Keep the television volume low, and
do not hold loud conversations.
If you do not have a quiet place for your child to study, you might take them to a
public library where they can do their work in peace.
Create study aids.
It is important for your child to both memorize information and recall it on demand.
To improve their memory, you can encourage certain studying practices. Using these aids on a
daily basis will help them learn more efficiently than cramming the information from a book.
Create a sheet of math formulas that they need to know. Have them memorize the formulas.
Encourage them to write these formulas down in the margins of the test as soon as they receive it.
Teach your child to go through reading passages and circle important details, such as the main character,
purpose, and tone. Flash cards work well for learning vocabulary, science facts, and historical dates.
Practice answering questions.
Ask your child questions that they might find on the exam. Develop questions based on their notes,
flashcards, or textbooks. You can say these out loud or give them a written practice test.
Note which problems your child is having the most difficulty with, and focus on those in your next study session.
If you have a practice exam, give it to them a few days before the examination. Time them for the same length of time
that they will be given on the test. If they are given breaks between sessions, give them the same type of break.
Take time out for regular breaks.
Concentration weakens after a certain amount of time. A short break is a good idea every 30 to 60 minutes.
During a ten to fifteen minute rest, your child can stretch, have a snack, or take a walk.
These brief breaks can reduce stress, improve memory, and increase concentration.