Since you always stress how important education is to your kids, when they have to face a major exam you’ve got to step in and lend a hand. Sure, you always hope that your child would just become so enamored with the learning process that tests great or small would be a breeze and a pleasure. But the reality is probably not far off from your own exam experiences if you take the time to remember back. That means no matter how prepared they are they probably don’t feel it, and stress is the word of the day. Helping them navigate through the process is something you can contribute even if you can’t remember algebra, chemistry or the principals of engineering to save your life. Here are a few simple ways you can help your kids prepare for their exams that should be painless for all of you.
First of all, make sure they’ve got the groundwork in place for success. That really starts with a proper night of sleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter for an exam, you know that you barely retain any of the information through the class itself, let alone for a month or a year after. While your kid probably doesn’t care whether he retains one single math problem or grammatical law after he walks out of the test, you’ve got his bigger goals in mind. So make sure your kid gets enough sleep to think clearly, both when studying and on exam day. That may be eight hours, but every person is a little bit different.
Keep your child well fueled during the study process as well. It’s scientific fact that you learn better when you eat a balanced diet, especially one high in fish oils and lean protein. And you’ve seen enough of your kid’s crashes from soda or junk food to know those don’t promote any sort of focus. When the exam day comes around, make sure his lunch is stocked with fruit and veggies, so he’s thinking during the exam and not digesting.
The entire exam preparation process will be much easier if your kid approaches it the right way, and for that you may need to bring the hammer down from time to time. After all, studying should be review of material you’ve already heard and understood. A refresher course, so to speak. If your child looks or acts like he’s learning anything new, then he was probably less than completely focused during the semester. So maintain a steady hand on doing homework each and every night. Small amounts of consistent efforts will go much further than the cram session, but if it comes down to that it’s already too late.
Regardless of our expectations, those cram sessions do happen. But all is not yet lost. It’s not ideal, but you can still help your kid do well on the exam. Start with building up his confidence. If this is a subject he struggles with that could be difficult. Try to put it in perspective with a story about the time you found yourself in a similar situation and it all worked out okay. Perhaps you had a professional GMAT tutor on your side, but your kid doesn’t have to know that part of the story. He’s got a shot, but only if he believes he does. The more stressed out he is, the less he’ll retain for the exam.