As your child’s half-yearly exams come closer, it’s important for you to assess the way they are actually revising. Are they simply going through the materials and recognizing questions, or are they actually testing their knowledge?
The way your child revises before their exams have a lot to do with their performance in the exams.
Exams can be a scary experience for some, but a carefully planned walk in the park for others. Reviewing a conceptual subject like math can be tricky, that’s why we’ve brought a list of revision tips that will help your child ace their exams with ease:
#1. Practice recalling, not recognizing:
One of the biggest mistakes students make during revision is to confuse their ability to recognize a certain problem as their ability to recall the said information. Recognizing something, and recalling it are two different psychological processes.
Recognizing something requires less brainpower as it involves looking at a piece of the problem and generates a feeling of familiarity with it. For example, your child is recognizing when they look at a problem during a mock test and can map it with one they recently did during practice.
However, your child is actually judged and scored for recalling concepts and applying those to solve problems (and not merely recognizing problems in the exam).
Help your child change their revision game, by having them enhance their recalling ability. One proven method of doing this is to understand a concept first by using the class material and then immediately trying to reproduce the steps in a notebook (while keeping the book closed). Here, it might be useful to break a concept into manageable chunks if the concept is too complex.
In practice, you can ask your child to read and understand a specific concept and then ask them to close the book and rewrite the same thing using their memory. However, it is essential that you break it down for them so that their working memory is not too burdened.
You may notice that your child is faltering occasionally while retracing the steps mentioned in the book. You should allow them to reread and repeat the process. However, if this doesn’t help, then this might indicate that your child is not able to comprehend the underlying logic. In this case, you need to pinpoint the specific step proving to be problematic and provide the necessary explanation.
In fact, even if your child is able to successfully recall from memory, you must consistently enquire as to whether they have understood the reasoning. If there is a gap, then it will manifest itself clearly when you change the values in the problem that is given in the book.
Another method is to change questions related to a certain concept and increase the difficulty level. This will not only challenge them but also help them recall essential rules and formulas at the same time.
#2. Create space, don’t cram:
If cramming till the last moment forms an essential part of your child’s revision method, chances are your child will not be able to recall anything when the exam finally comes around.
The best way to avoid cramming (the risk of information overload), help your child space their practice out. Organizing a learning session into a solid hour of practice and conceptual understanding will help your child retain what they learned better and for a considerable longer period of time as compared to a cramming session.
When your child is cramming concepts and problems, they are essentially making temporary storage of information in their brains. This temporary storage has the risk of getting mixed up with other pieces of information, eventually leading your child to forget everything when the exam finally comes.
#3. Targeting and fixing the weakness:
It’s easy for students to delve into concepts that are familiar to them, problems they have confidence in and know they can ace it. However, in doing so, they are actually missing out or ignoring the concepts, chapters or problems that are difficult for them or that require more effort to master.
As a parent, you may have a question – How do I find out which topics my child is not interested in? (Hence, possibly inclined to skip those topics altogether while revising).
A clever way of discovering this is to make a list of all the chapters and possible topics and asking your child to express their emotions (towards specific chapters and topics) in the form of images.
For example, you can ask them to pick an emoji for each concept (sad, happy, anxious, crying. laughing etc.). In the end, you will get a good measure of which topics your child is likely to avoid.
Another way of spotting the vulnerabilities is to ask your child that if they are given freedom to allocate revision time to each topic, how would they distribute their efforts. It is likely that they would allocate less time to the topics they like the least.
Once gaps are identified, you can motivate your child to make efforts to fix them through better and thorough practice. At this juncture, you may ask – How do I motivate my child to take up difficult concepts for learning and revision?
One important thing to note is that like any human being, your child is intrinsically motivated to explore, comprehend and synthesize new ideas and concepts. Therefore, it becomes imperative that you challenge your child to think about difficult or boring topics in unconventional ways.
For example, if algebra is the topic your child fears, then you can ask them to assign friendly names to the symbols (mystery x or mighty y). If it is about solving equations, use sentences like – Mystery x wants to hide right behind the = sign; Mighty y fights alone!
If it is arithmetic, ask them to assist in finishing a calculation task. Pique their curiosity, make it interesting and encourage them to story-tell.
Another way of motivating your child is to create a sense of mastery and control. Tell your child that great students never question their abilities and they believe that they control their grades and performance.
Students perform best when they are assured of their competence and autonomy.
#4. Continuous challenging and upskilling:
Your child’s revision method is practically incomplete without them actually testing themselves on their ability to write complete answers in exam-like conditions. It’s imperative your child understands the importance of rehearsing exactly what they’re about to do.
It is important for your child to write full-scale practice tests before the exam. Research studies clearly suggest that students generally tend to overestimate their mastery both before and after the exam.
Thus, if your child can accurately assess their mastery levels before the exam, then their academic performance is likely to be better.
Revision in and itself constitutes one of the most important parts of your child’s exam preparation. If your child’s revision methods don’t constitute of the above points, then chances are you’d need to sit with them and revise their revision strategies and methods.
At Cuemath, we help your child get ahead of the exam competition by better preparing them for their exams from the start. Keeping the importance of better practice and conceptual clearance in mind, we’ve formulated the Half Yearly Exam preparation pack to help your child prepare better and ace their Half Yearly Exams.
Enrol your child to the Cuemath program today and you can get the Half Yearly Exam preparation pack for FREE.