The mid-year exams are just around the corner, and it’s once again the season of high anxiety for just about everyone in the family!
For most kids, they are pressing the panic button and hitting the books in a last-minute attempt to cram as much content in their brains as possible.
In our years of working with kids at Supercamp Singapore, we’ve realize that parents can actually play a crucial role in helping kids do well in the exams.
Using your words and actions correctly can place them in a state of calm focus during preparation, and a state of confidence before entering the exam hall.
And that’s exactly what you want!
Here are some useful tips:
1. Remind them of past successes
Kids, and people in general, tend to remember their past failures and mistakes more than their successes. They replay these over and over again, and put themselves in a non-resourceful state. What you can do is remind them of times when they have done well, when they have put in the effort and been rewarded.
This will put them in a state of confidence – which is crucial to doing well in high-pressure situations like exams.
2. Have them focus on what they can control
Believe it or not, kids can’t actually control what score they get. Yup, we said it! Because if they really could control their score, wouldn’t they give themselves full marks? What they can control is the way they revise and prepare before, and the way they take the exam.
Knowing this means they ought to take their focus away from how much they score (something they can’t control) and instead focus on doing the best they can before and during the exam (something they can control). This reduces stress and pressure, and lets them know that their fate is very much in their own hands. If they put in the effort and do their best, they can do well.
3. Ensure they study in a conducive environment
It’s a little known fact that the environment where kids study in plays a HUGE role in whether the child has a productive study session or not. Some kids study in front of a TV, and they wonder why they can’t remember anything they’ve read! Some kids study on the bed, and all they have to show after 5 hours is a good afternoon nap!
You want to ensure your child studies in a quiet, well-lit place with no distractions so they can fully concentrate on their revision at hand. This place will also serve as an anchor for study and revision. They can do all activities elsewhere, but when they enter this space, it’s always for study and revision.
4. A little more everyday
The common habit all top achievers share is consistent practice. Last-minute cramming just doesn’t work – in school or life!
You simply can’t shortcut your way to success. Encourage your child to put in the work every single day. They don’t have to bury themselves under piles of work everyday and work from dawn to dusk.
What they have to do however is do some form of daily revision. There is a compound effect when you go through the textbooks everyday. Yesterday’s chapter makes more sense today and there is positive momentum built up. The motto hence is do a little MORE everyday and push a little harder. Like compound interest, every small bit of effort invested everyday builds up!
And everyone can do just a little more everyday!
5. Let them know you believe in them, and no matter what happens – you’ll continue to LOVE them!
This is a big one because the quickest way to stress a child out is to threaten them with withdrawal of love and punishment if they do poorly. We think it will motivate the child to do well, but all it does is activate their flight or fight instinct and pumps more adrenaline into their body.
Adrenaline doesn’t always lead to clear thinking – and usually results in panic or exam blank. What we want to do is to relax the child and send them in with calm confidence. The best way is to reassure that they have the resources to do well, and that you believe in them. All they have to do is go in and do their best, and no matter what happens you’ll always love them.
Telling this to the child gives them the emotional fuel to go into an exam and do their very best. And people usually do their best when they are relaxed, calm and confident.
Those are 5 proven, practical tips that you can use to help your child do better in the mid-year exams.
We took these from our Supercamp founder, Bobbi DePorter’s bestselling parenting book – The Seven Biggest Teen Problems And How To Turn Them Into Strengths