JBCN School Blog

How To Prepare Students For Exams or Assessments

The Assessment Season

Assessments are just a few months away and our learners are busy solving past papers, revising from textbooks or some borrowed notes from their friends. These anxious learners are our future. Let’s take some time to understand their needs and make sure that they are enjoying the process of studying for the upcoming assessments. Let’s talk about How To Prepare Students For Exams.

Here are a few things that we as parents can do to help the children in focusing better:

1) Emphasize on the process and not the results

Yes, evaluations are important but few years down the line, just having good grades on the report card will not matter. The concepts taught in school and application of the knowledge gained needs to be emphasized. So we should not encourage mere rote learning before an assessment. We should make sure that the child understands what s/he is revising.

2) Explain the concept of healthy competition and never compare:

Competing with siblings and friends does tend to push the learner to perform better. However, we should be aware of our child’s individual potential and set goals accordingly that can be achieved.

Appreciate the effort the student makes rather than focusing just on the results or comparing them with other children. We need to understand the concept of healthy competition and explain the same to our kids. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

3) Make sure your kid is eating and sleeping properly:

Just because assessments are a few days away, many kids disrupt their entire schedule to study better. In reality, this doesn’t help at all! We should ensure the kids gets a balanced diet and sleeps for 7-8 hours daily. Several studies have shown that sleep deprivation does have a negative impact on the academic performance of students.

4) Provide a conducive environment:

Stopping the co-curricular activities or taking away play time from kids during the evaluation period does not improve their performance. In fact, these activities refresh them and increase their productivity. Instead of directing them to study, we should try to get involved in their studies. While we may not understand all their subjects but can surely help them organize or equip them with skills needed for studying. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

5) The Exam Mantra – Concentration and Memory

how to prepare for exams
“I know I need to study, but I can’t concentrate. Can you please tell me what should I do?”, “I have a lot of things I need to work on, but don’t understand from where to start”.. If you too feel this way, then let’s start by understanding what concentration really is!

According to Cambridge dictionary, ‘concentration is the ability to think carefully about something you are doing and nothing else’. In simpler words, it is your ability to sustain focus on a task.

Here are a few tips to get the ball rolling for your upcoming assessments:

  • Start today

    Don’t wait for tomorrow… start today! It could be writing a small answer, reading a chapter from the novel your studying or solving a math problem. Don’t shelve things for tomorrow. Start small but start today.
  • Identify your task:

    Multitasking or having too many things on the to-do list does not help. Make your priority list depending on the number of subjects and topics to be studied. Most of the students get overwhelmed with the number of topics to study and they end up procrastinating.

    To avoid this, make a list of things you need to study on a chart paper and start ticking them as you go along. Put this list up in someplace where you can see it a few times every day (e.g.: bedroom wall, cupboard/ wardrobe/ fridge door) and make a habit of using this daily.

  • Take short breaks:

    Take short breaks I have had innumerable students asking me – “How long should I sit down to study and concentrate?”,and parents complaining “My child sits to study and gets up barely after an hour to take a break… how will she even pass the exam!!!” … My only response is “Even the most entertaining movies have a short break and academics take a lot of attention and mental energy.”

    Although the attention span of each individual is different, you should not stretch your session for more than an hour without a short break. Take a frequent break but keep them short so that you don’t lose the continuity. Avoid watching television or use of internet on phone or laptop, instead, make yourself a smoothie or listen to a song.

  • Study Space:

    Maintain a study space and use it religiously. It gets you in the mood for studying and ensures that your time is spent productively. Make sure there are enough sunlight and fresh air. Keep your study space organized and add fun elements to it so that you look forward to spending time there. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

  • Exercise Regularly:

    Going for a run or playing your favourite outdoor sport for 40 minutes to an hour daily can do wonders. Let the ‘happy hormones’ start kicking in, they will surely increase your concentration the next time you sit to study.

  • Resolving Internal conflicts:

    Remember the number of times you started studying before an exam and were texted by your friends to meet up? (I’m sure all of us have gone through something similar!) Don’t give in so easily… think for a few moments before deciding. Naturally, your heart tells you to go and brain says, “there’s an exam tomorrow, sit quietly and study.”

    Deciding can sometimes take away precious hours of your time and if you choose to study you still feel bad about not going and if you go the guilt of leaving studies overpowers all the happiness of meeting up with your friends. Think- When was your last big break? If you go out how many hours would you be out? Make a conscious decision and don’t beat yourself up for it later. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

  • Music or no music:

    I often hear students saying music helps in concentrating while studying. Honestly, everyone is different and different things work for different people. Music does have an impact on our ability to recall but it is definitely not applicable to everyone! Also, not all kinds of music can improve recall. These days it’s kind of trendy to have the music on while studying.

    When we concentrate on a task, most of our attention is focused on that task, but still a small part of our attention is on the other things that are not deemed important. When we listen to music, we do deliberately divide our attention/ focus into two different tasks.

    Further, we do anticipate the lyrics of the songs and at the same time read a different text which might interfere with our ability to recall. So make a cognizant decision about whether to listen to music or not while studying…

  • Use the multisensory approach:

    While studying ensure that you use two or more senses. Either read the text loudly so that you hear it or write and make your pointers to remember things easily. The number of senses involved in learning, the better is the recall.

    Memory is a storehouse of all the information we process. We just need to know and understand how we process the information and how to recall the processed information. So here are a few memory tips to recall things better in this assessment session! This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

  • Making some music

    Having difficulty remembering the period table? Try the periodic table song! We use this on our toddlers while teaching alphabets and rhymes and it works just fine with adults too. Put a tune to something difficult and say it a few times and you will find it easier to recall than before!

  • The First letter method/ Acronyms

    Take the first letter of each point you have to remember and try to make a word of it. Remember how you learnt the rainbow colours…VIBGYOR. Rehearse the information a couple of times to ensure better recall. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

  • Draw Diagrams:

    Drawing what you understand and depicting concepts in picture form will also help in remembering things better. Just try drawing some experiment while studying it and recall stepwise using the diagram.

  • Colour coding:

    I personally encourage students to use various colours in the learning phase. Colour coding information or main points of an answer can help in the recall phase. This is one of the best tips on How To Prepare Students For Exams.

  • Association/ Pairing:

    It is a visualization technique and can be used to remember synonyms, cause-effect situations. It’s very simple… Just make a funny image of two different things coming together and visualize as many details as you can. The more the details, the more is the recall.

    All of us are different and we must celebrate that uniqueness. Similarly, everyone has different study habits, different timings and strategies that work for each of us. We need to find which techniques help us in remembering things better and use it while studying. Enjoying the process rather than focusing just on the outcome makes studying and assessment an enriching experience.

  • Author: ShivangiMaru
    Faculty: Life Skills & Psychology
    JBCN International School


    Share with the world:

    Posted on: Monday,2018,Apr,Mon