September 20, 2016
Next October and November, many students will write high school entrance exams and be tested on their language, math, logic, observation and reasoning skills. And while children who were average or above-average students by the end of 5th grade have absolutely nothing to worry about, this remains a very stressful period for them… and their parents!
Has your child already started studying for such exam? Maybe he or she is wondering how to maximize the time left before the big day? If so, here are five tips that might help!
1. Target their weaknesses
You must use your time wisely, especially if it’s running out. List your child’s weaknesses and difficulties and establish which should be a priority. You can then go down the list and cross out the concepts that are mastered.
2. Vary their studying strategies
Make your children’s study periods more enjoyable by offering them a little variety. For example, they could:
- Read out loud;
- Study with a friend so they can quiz each other;
- Take a homemade quiz – a great way to improve their general culture;
- Play educational games on websites like Netmath or KnowledgeAdventure to review different concepts; or
- Do some exercises in books like the Canadian Curriculum.
3. Use any help you can get
Is your child stuck and you don’t know how to help? You can always hire a tutor, who will work individually with your child and focus on his or her particular needs. Sometimes, all you need is a few hours to get out of what seems like a dead end.
4. Allow time for breaks
If you think cramming for hours on end is the most productive way to study, think again! Our brain has limits too, so breaks are more than necessary during study periods. Going for a short walk, having a snack, listening to your favorite song… Anything can help your kids take their mind off whatever they’re doing!
5. Take the night before the exam off
Learning should be a marathon more than a sprint, so we recommend that you start preparing a few weeks in advance. If you do, your child will be more than ready on the night before the exam, and instead of studying, he or she will be able to sit back, relax and have fun.
You can also make sure everything is ready for the next day:
- A copy of his or her latest report card (if it isn’t done already);
- A pencil;
- An eraser;
- A pen;
- A correction pen or correction fluid;
- A highlighter;
- A geometry kit;
- A calculator;
- A snack (hunger can be quite the distraction); and
- Tissues (because sniffing during an exam is no one’s favorite thing).
Here’s one last tip: encouraging your children and showing them that you believe in them is the best way to help build their confidence. Remember that pressure is their worst enemy.
This article was written in collaboration with School Success, a company dedicated to the academic success of primary, secondary, and college students. School Success offers homework help, remedial classes, curriculum enrichment, and test preparation services.
When it comes to family budgeting, we all try to stretch our money. So why not put part of your new Canada Child Benefits to work by investing in an RESP or beefing up your current plan. The sums invested will attract generous grants for your child’s future post-secondary education!