Here you would find some handy advice for parents and learners to get through the stress of exam time.

How learners can best prepare for the exam

  • Create a study environment – A messy space leads to messy learning for exams. Make sure you have the correct lighting, block out noise with a pair of earphones, get comfy in a good chair and set up a whiteboard for notes and schedules. The more inviting the space, the more likely you are to use it.
  • Study for your exam at the right time – Rather than cramming furiously, you can choose a time that you find yourself to be most productive. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning after breakfast? Or maybe you prefer to set the evenings aside to study? Whatever time you choose, try to make it a time when you feel alert.
  • Create an exam timetable – This is a very valuable tool, especially if you plan to study more than one subject. Sit down and block out dedicated times for each subject, making sure that the times you set are manageable and won’t leave you burnt out by the end of the day. Make sure you schedule breaks as well to refresh yourself mentally in between.
  • Active exam study – Take a step back and ask yourself some questions before, during and after your study time. This helps to give your studies direction, and at the end allows you to reflect and improve for your next study session. Some questions you could ask include: What do I already know about this subject? Do I understand what I have just read? How does this information fit with what I have previously learnt? Can I paraphrase this information into something simple? Are there any keywords or phrases I should write down?
  • Music – Unless you require a very quiet place in which to study, a playlist of good tunes can be used as an excellent tool to boost productivity. Some types of music have proven to be more stimulating than others, like classical music (Beethoven or Mozart) or video game music. For certain video game genres, such as RPGs or “roleplaying games”, the background music has often been composed to enhance the game experience. This can lead to engaging, elevating music that will power you through your study timetable. 

How parents can support learners in preparing for their exams

  • Food and rest – Make sure your child gets a decent night’s sleep, eight hours is ideal, and that they are fuelled correctly. A good breakfast (not sweet cereal), healthy snacks during the day and a protein-filled dinner.
  • Give them a break – give your child some time off from academic studies. Enjoy quality time together as a family but also let them spend time with their friends or doing things they enjoy. 
  • Reward good results – Acknowledging your child’s successes is an important part of motivating and supporting them, so you could implement a reward system for when they bring home top grades or excellent feedback. 
  • Stay in touch with their teachers – Teachers will be able to tell you which areas your child might need additional help from you in, and what form that help might take.
  • A quiet house – If your child has younger siblings, you can enforce a period of quiet time in the house at set times of the day, during which younger children are quietly occupied and the older ones have the peace and quiet they need to get on with their private study, distraction-free.
  • Offer help – one of the easiest ways to support your child is to simply show concern for how they are getting on and if there is anything they need help with. Your support is crucial, and you will be able to see if other interventions are needed.

Extra exam preparation help

If your child is struggling with a subject matter or studying, there is a whole load of things you can do:

  • Revise the study timetable with your child to make more time for the subjects they are struggling with.
  • There are many retired teachers who are willing and able to give extra lessons.
  • Advantage Learn offers exam preparation courses to ensure that your child is prepared for the exams. The offerings include recordings, downloadable workbooks, and online support.

A good result in their final exams is crucial for child learners, it sets them up for success and further studies. That’s why it is so important to make sure they have all the tools they need to get through this stressful time.

Trish Pike

This article was originally published on 27 Oct 2022

About the author
Trish Pike

Trish Pike is renowned for her approach in teaching mathematics. Having previously been Head of Department at top South African schools she has taken her expert teaching online making it available to all learners through herself and our team of educators under Trish’s guidance.

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