9 hacks to ace your school exams
21 Sep 2020

9 hacks to ace your school exams

This article was produced in partnership with Flying Cape and YouthCast powered by AKLTG.

Not sure how to help your child prepare for exams? With some planning and discipline, your child can easily get the most out of his or her study sessions to ace the exams. Here are some quick hacks to guide you along.

Hack #1: Proper execution for success

Revision doesn’t mean spending a long time reading through, although it does depend on where your child is at completing their syllabus. If your child has already completed their entire syllabus, revision can be done in a matter of minutes.

  • For example, one entire science chapter will normally take a child to finish reading in under an hour but if we focus on 6-7 important points to memorise, that would take a child less than 15 minutes to read and recall.
    • To strengthen memory, your child should perform the recalling step at least 3-5 times.
    • Use flashcards to replace lengthy notes.
  • For practice-based subjects like Mathematics and language, it may take longer than a few minutes.
    • Let them try out practice papers (such as simulated PSLE Papers) or topic-based questions.

Hack #2: Start with targeted areas

One hack to assist your child is to create a Subject Breakdown plan. For languages, instead of jumping straight into the entire paper, you can be more specific and target areas that your child needs more help in. For example, work on grammar exercises if your child needs more improvement there.

Hack #3: Create an optimal learning environment

The environment at home can be a huge factor to your child’s focus on their daily preparation for exams. Parents who implement a strict rule on mobile devices on their children should be able to see the benefits now, with the impending exams.

It takes the entire family to work together. One suggestion is to hold a family meeting and discuss the importance of having the environment set in place to assist your child facing major exams. Let the siblings understand the significance of everyone being in this together. E.g. No television for one, no television for all!

Hack #4: Sleep your way into good results

Sleep is often one of the few things that students who are preparing their exams for, tend to sacrifice. It controls our brain health, helps to navigate our thinking and of course, our learning.

One hack for your child to be well-rested, and yet have ample time to complete their work is to have controlled naps or rest. Controlled naps take no more than 30 minutes. If possible, get your child to rest NOT on their beds, but either with their head resting on the table or closing their eyes while sitting upright.

Mindfulness is a tool used to foster metacognitive processes in our child. Just by getting them to sit upright and breathe slowly while relaxing for 5 minutes aids in many ways.

Hack #5: Change your child’s diet to improve their exam results

Some simple diet shifts to aid exam candidates include:

  • Taking smaller meals
    Take smaller meals where your child is 70% full rather than 100%. You can supplement those meals with smaller snacks like fruits, milk etc.
  • Taking fruits before their main meals instead of after
    This helps reduce our food intake and increase fibre intake.

Hack #6: Set boundaries for tech devices

Understand the significance behind why your child spends so much time on their device, be it connecting with their friends or establishing their identity on social networks. With this understanding, you can then set the boundaries to ensure a better balance especially during exam preparation period.

Hack #7: Use posters as reminders

Let your child design the posters to remind and inspire themselves. You can even combine this hack with some of the other methods. Put up a poster on areas that are potential distractions e.g. computer, TV. Keep a balance between uplifting ones and those that act as stern reminders.

Hack #8: Use words of affirmation

Stay positive and use elevating words as much as you can to counter the stress your child feels. Do not be afraid to express yourself as the parent about how much you believe in them and how much you care.

Avoid using negative words. Instead of saying “Don’t Give up”, you can say “Keep it up!”. When you say “don’t”, your brains automatically eradicate the negative commands. So, your child will subconsciously register the word “give up” – which is the opposite of your intended meaning.

Hack: #9: When too much is too much

We need to also acknowledge that there is only so much time and so much that can be done. Study breaks and sessions of freeing up their tensed self MUST be allocated for your child.

Getting through exam season is tough. We hope these 9 hacks will help ease some pain you are going through now. Remember to stay positive - we need to stay in the right state of mind for our children to follow suit.

Find out more content and tips to guide you on your parenting journey here.