How parents can get involved during exam time

father helping son with homework
father helping son with homework
MoMo Productions/ Getty images

From next week, Matriculants across the country will write their final examinations. It's a stressful and demanding time for teenagers anxious to pass this important stage in their lives. Claudia Swartzberg, the CEO of Top Dog, an Ed-Tech company, says the involvement or support of parents during this time is important. She shares tips on how parents can alleviate pressure their children might be under.

  • Identify your child’s best way to learn: Try to identify how your child enjoys studying best, and adopt strategies around that.
  • Create a great learning environment: A good atmosphere and comfortable learning space can lead to productive learning and revision. Ensure your child has what they need to thrive, whether it’s sufficient light and quiet, or a comfortable chair and the necessary stationery.
  • Get them to “teach”: A good way to get children to understand what they are learning, or to just practice their revision, is for them to “teach” you. Ask your child to pretend they’re the teacher, and go through a mock “lesson”.
  • Spread out revision: It’s difficult for anyone to concentrate on learning for long periods of time, so ensure your child is taking short breaks between revision bursts.
  • Support them: Studying is not always fun or easy, so praise your children when they are working hard. Encourage rather than threaten, as kids don’t need more stress during exam pressure.
  • Ensure they’re sleeping sufficiently: Sleep is important to not only give children mental and physical rest, but to consolidate what’s been learnt during the day. Ensure their room is dark as light interferes with melatonin (the hormone needed for sleep) production. The blue light emitted by tablets and phones can also be disruptive to sleep.
  • Set up “rewards”: Incentivise studying and exams not necessarily through material rewards or “prizes”, but through fun activities that children can look forward to after a series of revisions or after an exam. Incentives can include a dinner out at a restaurant, or watching sport or series together. Or better yet, ask them what they want to do the most.

The exam period go on for just over a month, from October 23 to November 28. 

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