In many households across the country panic stations are being hit as everyone realises exams start in just over a week's time.
Some committed and diligent students may have been revising steadily for months now. Others will barely have glanced at a text book or flicked through their exercise book.
As a parent, what can you do at this stage to rescue the situation for your child?
1. Unlock their motivation
The first key to success in anything is motivation. It can be really hard to unlock the motivation of your teen but it's your best hope of getting them to pull some respectable grades out of the bag.
Take them out for a walk or drive (so you're not looking at each other across a table in a combative way) and steer the conversation towards their future. Where do they see themselves in five or ten years' time? What kind of job do they want? What kind of lifestyle? What car do they want to drive? What impact do they want to make on the world?
Now get them to reverse engineer getting to that point. What education do they need to get there? What grades do they need?
Having clarity around this stuff can be a real light-bulb moment for teens and just what they need to get them started with their revision.
2. Get them to prioritise
With only a week to go your teen can't possibly revise everything for every exam they're taking. Therefore, they need to prioritise learning the things that will make the biggest difference.
Use a RAG (red, amber, green) system to prioritise different topics on the syllabus. On their exam syllabus identify the things they are least sure of (red), the things they're OK with (amber) and the things they're very happy with (green). It's easy to find exam specifications online. Then, get them to concentrate on revising the things they've colour-coded in red.
3. Get hold of past papers
It's all very well knowing what you need to know for an exam, but you have to know how to use it too. Print off some exam papers from the exam board's website, as well as the mark schemes, and get your child to work through them. This is also a great way of enhancing what they've learned through repetition.
4. Use a timer
Turn your teen's phone into a force for revision good by using it as a timer. Get them to set the timer for thirty minutes and leave it on the other side of the room. Your teen should focus solidly for thirty minutes before taking a break. Time the break too - five to ten minutes between thirty minute revision sessions.
You and your teen will be amazed what they can achieve in thirty minutes of really focused work.
5. Keep them healthy
Make sure your teen gets a good eight hour sleep every night up until the exams start and while they're happening. Also, cook them healthy and filling food that's going to keep their blood sugar at an even level. Finally, encourage them to get outside and exercise to relieve stress. This will also give their brains time to take in all the information that they're learning.
When you follow these tips both you and your teen will feel more confident and less stressed about the upcoming exams.
Lucy Parsons empowers 15-18 year olds to get the top grades and into the best universities. Her new book 'Revision Quickstart Guide: Get Revising and Learn How to Pass Exams in Just 30 Minutes' reached number 1 in two Amazon categories. You can find out more about Lucy and her work on her website.Suggest a correction