How to Help Your Child Achieve in Exams

Top 10 Tips to Help Your Child Achieve in GCSE and A-Level Exams

I know you want your child to do well in their upcoming GCSE and A-Level exams, but sometimes your involvement can be somewhat counterproductive. When your child is getting stressed by the exam period, it’s hard to know exactly what to do that’s productive and helpful. Fortunately, there are indeed many things you can do to help your child achieve in exams and get through this challenging study period more effectively. Today I will be revealing my top 8 tips to parents of GCSE/A-Level children who want to be useful to their kids’ studies.

Multiple choice questions for course revision

Tip Number 1: Offer some materials

One thing you can do to help is to offer some support materials to your hardworking offspring. 

Using multiple-choice questions has been shown to improve recall more than just answering questions. These are a quick and easy way for them to check on their progress, and most importantly find out what areas they lack knowledge. This style of question is scattered through out GCSE papers and makes up a large section of A-Level papers, so practicing this style of question is essential.

You can help your child to focus their efforts into material that genuinely needs their attention. For less than the price of lunch with your family, you can sign up for access to the thousands of questions I’ve written and you can help them secure grades that will have a continual impact on their future. Read more…

Tip Number 2: Offer some more materials

A free tool available for immediate download, are the collection of knowledge checklists that I’ve written. When your child is struggling to move on to new subject revision because they’re petrified that they’ve missed something crucial, you can swoop in and save the day with these. Using the checklists, learners can check off areas they’ve finished and know for sure when they’ve covered everything that they need to. This will allow them the peace of mind they need to move on and stop wasting time stressing over phantom topics. to practice exam style questions workbooks are packed full of questions. Read more…

Revision workbooks for preparation
Past papers and predicted papers by primrose kitten

Tip Number 3: Get some past papers

This is yet another fantastic contribution you can directly make to the learning process. Past GCSE and A-Level papers are available all over the Internet for free download. I’ve written predicted papers for this year’s exams, which are available for immediate download and cost less than a cup of coffee. You may also ask your child’s school to provide some for you. While your son or daughter is trying their best to create effective self-assessment strategies, you can ensure they have the best available option, which is past papers. A full simulation, even at home, will show them where their strengths and weaknesses lie, including how they are managing the exam time management requirements. Read more…

Tip Number 4: Look after their physical and mental health

The mountain of revision that GCSE and A-Level students face is more than daunting. It can be crushing to their physical and mental health, and lead them to a series of poor decisions and risky behaviours. For example, some students, desperate to catch up or cover more ground, may excessively consume energy drinks or stimulants to stay awake all night. Sometimes, when students are reflecting on the amount, they have left to do, and the time remaining before exam day, they can be overcome with despair and a sense of dread. It’s vital that you’re there for them and remind them to take breaks, start revision early and keep a positive mindset. Furthermore, please encourage them to maintain a healthy diet and sleep plan. The following tip can help in that regard.

Student in depression before exam
food break between studies

Tip Number 5: Cook!

In Tip 4, I mentioned energy drinks, but junk food and other unhealthy, fatty and salty snacks are something revising students should avoid. You can help keep your child healthy in mind and body with good home-cooked food and healthy snacks. Talk to your son or daughter and work out some break times in which you will provide sustenance for them to enjoy while they wind down and relax for a while. Such a partnership ensures two things will happen – your child eats right and gets the nutrients you need, and they take the necessary breaks required to process information and rest.

Tip Number 6: Show empathy and understanding

Parents who have taken GCSEs, A-Levels or old O-Levels in the past can sometimes get snippy in the face of their child’s exam stress. Remember that comments like “students today, you don’t know you’re born!” and “the questions were far harder in my day” are extremely unhelpful and counterproductive. You may think you are allaying their fears in some way, but in reality, you are broadcasting a message that you are not a source of support or care. When your son or daughter is feeling the pressure, they won’t want to turn to you.

tutor teaching a kid
Studying table and chair

Tip Number 7: Create a great study space

Make another contribution to the study process by helping to create a quiet, organized, clean and comfortable study space for your child to use. If you have a spare or otherwise empty room, kit that out as a dedicated study area for them. A kitchen or dining room table works just as well. This allows them to keep their bedroom as a sanctuary of rest and relaxation. If you don’t have any spare rooms, then at least help them by keeping their desk tidy and litter bin emptied. A study space with lots of room, organized books, papers and stationery is a more productive one.

Tip Number 8: Be an "audience" for them

One thing your child might benefit from is being able to say aloud some of their revision work as a way of reinforcing and practising. It’s not just for music or drama students. This method can work for other subjects, too. For example, let’s say you’re trying to remember French vocabulary, or maths formulae, or Shakespeare quotes. You could sit with their notes and listen to them recite. They could even try to teach you a thing or two, which is a fantastic practice because it makes them not just recall things in their mind but articulate them out loud which takes real skill and knowledge.

Mother helping kid in studying
student solving questions of primrose kitten

Tip Number 9: Recognise when extra help is needed

There are lots reasons why students might need a bit of extra help…

  • Aiming high, if your child has need to get a certain grade to get on to a course or into a university, some parents want to provide the support to do that
  • No teacher in school, unfortunately not all school have a full staff of teachers.
  • Disruption or change in teacher. If your child’s teacher leaves they might not get replaced immediately or it might take a while for the class to get reestablished. 
  • Personality clash, some student just don’t get one well with a particular teachers style.
  • Low level disruption in class preventing learning
  • Frequent absence from school due to health reasons
  • Changing school due to life changes
Tutors can be expensive, but they don’t need to be inconvenient online tutoring is an easy way to fit this in around a busy family schedule Read more…

Tip Number 10: Don't buy everything

We all know that money doesn’t grow on tree, but sometimes it can be tempting to buy one more revision book to see if it will help improve grades a bit more.

The problem is that too many books and course can feel overwhelming to students. 

Do your research and spend you money wisely! Read more… 

Investing in education

Follow these tips, and you’re sure to be able to make a significant contribution to your child’s exam preparation. Remember that you can download materials mentioned in this article from Primrose Kitten. Be a supporting force for your son or daughter during this stressful time. 

Best of luck to all those preparing for their GCSE and A-Level exams!