Tips on how to prepare for exams

Photo: SmileTutor

How to tackle exam fever: Des Hugo explains.

Exam time tends to bring with it some anxiety and frustration, especially when students don’t feel fully prepared. The anxiety, leading up to these assessments and exams, can, in turn, lead to students adopting a few bad habits such as to cross night in an effort to memorise as much information as possible, in a short space of time.

This memorisation technique, based on repetition, is referred to as rote learning, and could lead to the reduction of retention and may affect the level of how to understand the information. Therefore, low performance in a test doesn’t always mean that no studying was done. In some cases, it means that a child just wasn’t able to fully grasp and understand the information.

“It is important to understand that all children have personal preferences and areas of strength for acquiring knowledge. These might either be through auditory or visual means,” said Des Hugo, director of academics at Nova Pioneer.

“At Nova Pioneer, we are very intentional about ensuring that students don’t just consume knowledge, but that they have a real understanding of the content. Our learning model includes ‘Reflection Time’, which is built into the daily lesson and this offers time for metacognition to ensure the learning is deep and retained more easily,” Hugo said.

Listed below are study habits that could negatively impact academic performance along with some tips on how to help your child achieve maximum results.

1. Procrastination and insufficient time

Procrastination never showcases the best efforts and results. Therefore it is important for your child to start well in advance to revise information regularly, or even after a lesson to go back to the teacher for additional support.

2. Lack of preparation and organisation

Learners can be disorganised. This is where a parent comes in by helping their children with planning and time management. As part of planning, you can do by sourcing past papers and test your child or have him or her test themselves.

3. Cramming

Cramming for exams is unfortunately not an effective method of learning. Avoid cross nighting before a test. Get enough rest to avoid anxiety. To help prevent this kind of learning, parents should ask their children to explain their learning to them in the evenings, in the car on the way from school, and even during dinner time. By sharing their learning, it makes their thinking visible.

4. Television and music

Although some student may argue that music or television helps them study better, the reality is that these form major distraction, even when watched by other family members. Your child should refrain from watching TV or listening to music when it’s time to study.

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  AUTHOR
Sibonelo Mtshali
Journalist

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