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What to advise your child on the day of the exam

Exam season is here and children up and down the country are preparing to sit their tests. Whether your child is taking their SATs and it’s their first experience of exams or they’re sitting GCSEs to secure college places, it can be a stress-inducing time for them.

But when they come to you looking for advice on how to handle the day of the exam, giving them some useful tips and guidance can make a huge difference in how they perform.

Leading up to the exam, revision and heading to study sessions is crucial. From group work to trying out past papers on School Exams, preparing can mean your children feel more confident as they head into the test. But that doesn’t mean some pre-exam jitters shouldn’t be expected and reminding your child of things they should keep in mind beforehand can help them focus and achieve their best.

Running through this checklist with your child before their exams can ensure your child heads in feeling confident and knowing exactly what to do.

Read the question thoroughly

In the middle of an exam when you’re trying to rush through the paper, it’s easy to misread a question and make a mistake. Remind you child to read over each question more than once so they fully understand what they need to do. Taking a bit of extra time can help eliminate making silly mistakes – dropping just a single point can mean the difference between grades.

Pay attention to details

From checking over the wording of the given answers to reading through exam texts, paying attention to details is important. Many children find they whizz through the exam as fast as they can, glossing over the details. A gentle reminder on exam day could be just what they need.

Check you’ve labelled everything correctly

When they’ve got to answer questions on a separate piece of paper, it’s crucial that they are numbered correctly. Failing to do so could mean they lose out on marks even when they’ve got the right answer. Spending a few minutes to ensure every answer is labelled correctly can make all the difference.

Manage your time

When exam nerves hit, it can mean people go through the paper at break neck speed or spend too long stuck on one question. Helping your children to understand how important time management is under exam conditions can help. Using previous exam papers, such as those from School Exams, to better understand how long to spend on each question type can help them assess how long to spend on each answer.

Leave questions when your mind goes blank

Everyone has that dreaded moment where their mind goes blank. Advise your child to move on to the next question and come back to it later, rather than spend time worrying over the correct response and wasting valuable time.

You can ask if something is unclear

Sometimes questions can be written in a way that makes them difficult to understand. Make sure that your child knows they are allowed to put up their hand and ask for clarification if they need it.

Focus on yourself

If everyone around you is writing away or looks as though they’re doing something else, it can mean you become distracted or lose confidence. Remind your child of all the hard work they’ve put in and to focus on themselves. With a focus on concentration, they’ll be better able to put their knowledge to use.

Check your answers

Tell your child to manage their time effectively enough that they have ten minutes at the end of the exam to go through their answers. It’s also important to remember that should they change an answer they make it very clear to the marker which one is the final response.

Do you have any tips for parents on the day of the exam? Please feel free to share those with us on Facebook or Twitter.