Tips to Help Your Child Achieve in Exams
As a parent with teenage kids, exam time can be a stressful period. You and your kids both know that the GCSEs and A-Levels have far-reaching consequences that go well beyond the end of the summer term or exam period itself. In a previous piece, we outlined ten essential tips that parents should follow to help their children to achieve more in their upcoming GCSE and A-Level exams. In this follow-up, we will look at each piece of advice in detail and show how you can be both supportive and productive for your son or daughter during exam time.
The first piece of advice on our list was “Offer Some Materials: Multiple-Choice Questions.” Far from just being there for emotional, financial and dietary support, you can offer something more academically tangible to your son or daughter, too. That’s not to say, of course, that the other forms of support aren’t necessary, because they are and you will see them feature in following tips. We put this one in the first spot because it’s common for parents to think there’s little or nothing they can offer that’s directly connected to their study.
Where can I get multiple-choice questions that are relevant to my child’s studies?
Fortunately, there are thousands of questions available on my website. These are specially designed to suit students preparing for GCSEs and A-Levels. If you look elsewhere, make sure that any materials you use, line up with the specific exam board and curriculum that your child is studying. Check to see if it’s designed for use with AQA, for instance. If it’s not the right one, then it won’t be as useful. Finally, try not to mix up GCSE with A-Level material.
Multiple-choice questions are an excellent method for students to cover an extensive range of topics within their subject in a relatively short space of time. Whereas using rote memorisation and other traditional techniques are useful for getting into the detail, you can spend hours just studying one single topic area. When you want to cover more ground and see how you’re getting on across the entire subject, multiple-choice questions are a great way to achieve that. In this way, they are an efficient and solid foundation to start the lengthy and challenging GCSE/A-Level revision process.
Advantage 1: Cover a lot of ground in a short time
Advantage 2: Sharpens their critical skills
To answer multiple-choice questions, you have to be able to look at all the options and employ your critical faculties to eliminate wrong answers and narrow in on the correct choice. You have to be able to quickly assess each choice and determine in seconds why the options are either right or wrong. That takes a lot of critical ability and practice; something that neither you nor your child should take for granted. Use the questions to sharpen these skills and make them more able to quickly and effectively respond to this style of question under the pressure of the exam clock.
Once you’ve finished a set of multiple-choice questions, you can quickly and efficiently verify the answers and see how you’ve done. It takes just a minute or so to be able to evaluate how well you’ve mastered the basics. More importantly, you can quickly determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie in the subject matter. Through a series of multiple-choice quizzes, you may realise that in one area you are much more lacking in understanding than you first thought, and perhaps stronger in another. The result is that you can tailor your revision timetable to prioritise those areas of weakness and dedicate more study time to them.
Advantage 3: They are quick and easy to check
Advantage 4: Mistakes become valuable learning experiences
After checking your work, you can also give yourself an additional task to do on those questions that you didn’t get quite right. Look back at the ones you got wrong and without checking any explanation to the answer key, figure out exactly where you went wrong. This further stretches your critical faculties and allows you to consider multiple facets of each question to determine where you were wrong. In short, each mistake becomes an invaluable learning experience.
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Don’t forget that parents and students can find a multitude of multiple-choice question materials on my website, covering science and maths at GCSE and A-Level.
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