Teenagers are heading into the Easter break facing revision for their forthcoming GCSEs and A-level exams.
The run-up to exams can be a very anxious time but family, whether they know the subjects or not, can be a great help. Ruth Sparkes, editor at teen magazine, Future Mag has some advice for the adults.
First thing to do is ask your teen how you can help. Start the conversation by asking; ‘Have you planned your revision, do you need any help with your plan? How can I support you?’
It’s important to remember teenagers and young adults need routine - at home as well as in school and college, especially where a lot of independent study is required.
They need the right environment to work in, such as a quiet space and a tidy desk. There’s a lot of pressure on them, so comforting advice and support is much appreciated, as well as boosting confidence.
Parents and carers should always have high expectations of their children, but they should also be aware of their anxieties and their need for regular breaks.
Parents should also understand their kids are thinking about their next steps – GCSE to A-level or apprenticeship/A-level to university – these are important months and big changes in their lives are about to happen; sometimes it can feel as though the earth is shifting right under their feet.
It’s also important for parents to recognise where their children’s motivation lies. It can sometimes come from being the first person in the family to go to university.
Remember most children really want to make their family proud.
And for teenagers Ruth offers four top tips.
Make it active - Revision should be doing things so, make fact cards, draw mind maps, highlight notes, make lists, write essay plans, answer past questions.
Take breaks - Memory and recall become less effective if you work long hours so, plan revision in sessions of up to one hour, take a short break between sessions, change topics each session as it focuses your mind to get a certain amount done in a set time.
Make small sacrifices - Find a quiet place to work not with the TV on, tell contacts on Snap, Messenger, etc, that you’re exiting the social media world for one hour, put phones on silent and out of sight, switch off social media on the laptop.
Work smart - Make essay plans, past questions and past papers; remember, application of knowledge has more marks than recall in some subjects; look at mark schemes and examiners’ reports to learn what examiners expect you to answer for questions - know what gains marks and, equally importantly, what does not gain marks; 50 per cent of revision time should ideally be spent on past questions.