The subject as to whether or not it is in any way beneficial or fair to introduce kids to exams and standardised testing has been debated for decades. Nevertheless, it’s become abundantly apparent that testing will continue to play a role in the education of even the youngest of children, which in turn means it’s in the best interests of parents and their kids to help with preparation to the most realistic possible extent.
Of course, perhaps the single most effective option when it comes to preparing kids for exams is to research the very best private London tutors available and have a professional help out. Nevertheless, it isn’t always a realistic prospect and even in the instances of families where professional tutors are brought in, there’s still plenty the parents can do to help out.
So for those looking to proactively assist their kids in the run-up to any standardised tests or exams, here’s a quick look at a few tips from the experts:
1 – Probing Questions
First of all, it’s worth remembering that exam questions in a great many instances require relatively detailed explanations. It isn’t simply enough to write a couple of words confirming you know the answer – you must instead explain why this is the answer. As such, it’s a good idea to get proactively involved in encouraging your kids to be descriptive and generally in-depth when it comes to the answers they give. Instead of simply asking them if they like a particular toy, game, show or food for example, probe a little deeper and have them explain why exactly they like it.
2 – Encourage Writing
There can be little more frustrating for any child of any age than knowing exactly what it is you want to say, though not knowing how to put it into words. This is where competent writing skills can make all the difference in the world when it comes to exams and key tests. As a means by which to practice and enhance writing skills, one of the best ways of going about it is to encourage kids to write letters to literally anyone they want and about any subject they like. The writing is the kind of thing that could be studied at length for decades, but will only ever improve and excel with practical experience.
3 – Supporting Evidence
Still on the subject of descriptiveness and depth, another enormously helpful habit to get into is that of having your child voice some degree of evidence or backing, as and when they voice an opinion or fact. If for example they tell you a fact about anything in particular or argue the one thing is better than something else, try asking them to back up their opinions with reasoning and evidence, rather than simply accepting it from going along with it. It’s once again a fantastic way of instinctive training them to be descriptive and thoughtful about what they know, questioning things rather than simply accepting them.
4 – Get Involved
Something else that can be enormously frustrating for children approaching important tests is when and where parents attempt to offer guidance and support, though clearly have no knowledge of or interest in the subject in question. The trouble is that even good intentions can backfire in such instances, which is why it’s a good idea to get involved to the most realistically possible extent. If for example the upcoming test will be based around a specific book, try putting sufficient time aside to read it personally and familiarise yourself with its content. And if you don’t have the time to really get to grips with whatever it is they’re studying, try getting them to teach you a thing or two and take enormous pride in doing so.
5 – Sleep and Relaxation
The importance of ensuring that kids are sufficiently rested and relaxed ahead of exams is easy to overlook. Nevertheless, everything from anxiety to poor sleep in the run-up to their tests and examinations can have a detrimental impact on the outcome. As kids cannot always be relied upon to look after their own sleep and relaxation habits, parents should play an active role in monitoring and managing both.
6 – Speak to the Experts
Last but not least, in any instance where there’s a child or children for whom the prospect of upcoming tests and exams is one that that’s borderline unbearable, there is always the option of calling in the experts. These days, professional tutors can be taken on a short notice and for the shortest of periods, simply to offer a little help and advice during the most demanding of times. It can often take a neutral third-party to offer the kind of advice and assistance that proves to be worth its weight in gold.