I know, I know. The word exam is usually a turnoff for most homeschooling mamas. The truth of the matter is, if your children are planning to pursue a higher education, then preparing your homeschooler for an exam is a subject worth talking about.
Studying for exams – no matter what subject they are for or the age at which they are taken – is never fun. But they are inevitable; therefore, it’s good to feel as prepared and organized as possible for them.
How To Prepare
To become a true study sensei, there are certain steps that should be taken. And although these might seem daunting, once they become routine, the stress will start to ease (in both you and your kiddos). Here are some key exam preparation tips worth noting:
Create A Comprehensive Study Schedule
When there is an exam coming up, it’s a good idea to create a study schedule. This will help to plan out each day and divide it into the sections in which studying is the priority. Making the preparation for the exam part of the routine will make the exam feel far less scary and ease the anticipation.
Make sure to create a schedule around times of the day that are better for concentration – i.e. in the mornings or in the afternoons if possible. This way, there will be a higher sense of alertness and no temptation to give up and opt for a distraction – such as the TV or a mobile phone.
Visual Aids and Resources
Often, people will be able to retain more information when they are presented with visual aids. Whether this is a diagram, a mind map, a short video or another type of digestible content, it will make the process far more streamlined.
Of course, everyone is different and they will learn in a way that’s unique to them. But to ensure that everyone is on the right path to exam success, using visual aids along with other resources is key.
Another resource that can be used is past papers. With so many different past papers and other useful resources available online (for example the SAT math practice available here) everyone will be able to practice for the exam in advance – leading to them feeling far more prepared and ready for the exam when they sit it.
Healthy Eating and Drinking
One of the key ways to maintain concentration and alertness is to eat healthily and stay hydrated with water throughout the study session. There are certain foods known as ‘brain foods’ that will assist with this and foods that should be avoided – i.e. energy drinks that will produce a short-term buzz but comes with a comedown period.
As well as healthy foods, it’s also recommended to eat breakfast every morning so that the food releases energy throughout the day.
Although a study schedule is very beneficial in getting prepared and organized for exams, it’s important not to go too over the top with it. During studying, it’s worth taking regular breaks to refresh the mind and absorb the information. Whether this is going on a long walk or talking to friends for an hour, it will help to relax the body and rejuvenate the brain.
CHIME IN: Are you a homeschooling family that tests or takes exams? What are some tips that have helped your kiddos ace the test? Let me know i the comments below!