Exam time is here! Last minute revisions and cramming is never easy.
Here are some effective tips that can help your child stay focused during exams.
Revision is the heart of your memory and memory is the most important aspect of any learning. Whatever you have learned and understood,if it is not stored in the memory can lead to forgetting. Memory could be enhanced if your revision method is strong and effective. Understanding how your mind works can free you from unnecessary mugging and fears associated with meaningless learning.
Here are some effective methods to help you stay focused during exams and revise the material:
Most individuals are able to concentrate for 30-40 minutes before their attention wavers.
- Work out a realistic revision timetable and stick to it, setting yourself targets that you know you will be able to achieve. Focus on specific materials and decide your goals.
- There is no point trying to revise when you are not focused, so build regular breaks and variety into revision sessions. Frequent short periods of revision will be more effective than hours of cramming.
- Research indicates that if any material is revised for 6 times within the given point of time, it will enhance your long term memory. First understand the material in detail and get the overview of the content, then divide it into parts. After understanding the content revise the material immediately after ten minutes, then review it after one day, then after two days, then after seven days, then after one month and lastly after 6 months. This duration and six times of review are effective to store it in your long term memory.
- Revision could be done in different ways. If the material is revised in a very short time, like in a few minutes you will be able to remember the revisions well at that point of time, but your memory will not able to store that material properly because you have not provided enough time for it. Too many short period of revisions and too many long period of revisions can both lead to forgetting. Research proves that revision after two hours leads to 80% retention.
- Flash cards are an extremely useful tool for revising. Making flashcards also enhances your memory. Make a summary, condensed notes, formulae, key words on different colored cards for different topics. Cards serve as quick reminders for key points. Ask your friend to test you on the cards. Make these cards as soon as you begin revision so that you have enough time to read them.
- Writing model papers will help you revise effectively. You can create a paper from the lesson or create some questions and answer it.
- Group revision is most effective for maths and science subjects. You can use flash cards in groups with your friends to check your memory.
- Create mind maps. Mind maps can be done by writing the main headings in the middle and writing key points related to the sub-topic. They are the most effective tools to remember things easily and revising learned materials.
Memory tools that are proven to be the most effective methods to recall easily.
- Symbols can be used to enhance your memory: While reading materials (any subjects) from your text books you can assign these simple symbols like (*, ?) – if not understood, (imp or #) for important points. Underlining with colored pens catches your mind easily and helps in remembering as your photogenic memory is enhanced.
- Use your imagination to aid revision: Visualization will help you to remember the processes and figures for Eg: “Imagine how pupa turns into a butterfly”
- Constructing sentences and creating meaningful lines. For Eg: “Planets can be remembered as: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nice Pizzas”
- Creating acronyms: Acronyms are the short words created from the first letter of each sentence or word.
For Ex: “Which field of Science can be developed by NANOTECHNOLOGY?”
F – Nano fabrication, M – Nano material, C- Nano composite, T– Nano tube
Use all your senses: Revising and learning through senses are the most effective way to retain the material for a long time.
Visual learners can easily remember things when they see and imagine for Eg: You can use colored pens, highlights, colored paper, cartoons, time lines, flow charts, diagrams.
Auditory learners can easily remember things when: They read aloud, explain what they have read to a family member or a friend.
Kinesthetic Learners are more active physically and like to move and learn through: Practically writing down key words, scribble, walk around or by using post-it notes.
- Revision can be effective when you are relaxed, focused and mentally ready. Tough and difficult topics are better to revise when your attention level is highest.
- Keep fit and healthy. Get enough sleep. Exercise will boost your brainpower by getting more oxygen to the brain and will help you to make sense of all the information you have. Always make sure you have a good breakfast in the morning before an exam. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
- Build relaxation time into your schedule, so that you can go out and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.
- Try to keep academic issues and family conflicts separate.
Always remember that you play a very important role in your child’s studies, so be a good listener and do not emphasize on previous failures. Provide more positive strokes and appreciate their efforts and most importantly avoid comparing your children with siblings or friends.
“Remember, each child is unique and different.”