GCSE Preparation and Revision
The GCSE’s are a stressful time for everyone but especially for your child. The following are some tips on things you can do to help your child.
- Be realistic – you probably have a good idea of your child’s capabilities so be realistic in your expectations.
- Encourage without putting on too much pressure. Your child should be happy and too much stress can lead to failure.
- Take an interest in your child’s progress and praise their successes.
- Avoid offering bribes or presents conditional on high grades. Plenty of parents do it but it serves to put your child under even more pressure and its better to encourage them to work for their own satisfaction.
- Give them a quiet, secure place to work, with space for display.
RevisionRevision organisation is important so that your child makes the most of the time they have for revising. Make sure they have all the notes and texts they need for each exam. Check that they have a sensible revision timetable with each exam written in plus time for rest, relaxation and family time.
Revision is always easier in the morning after a good nights sleep and should be done in blocks of half hour sessions. Regular breaks will aid in concentration and long-term memory is best aided by constant review of revision. Make sure your child is studying in a suitable revision environment. The environment should be quiet and comfortable with all the things they need to organise themselves – paper, folders, computers, pens etc. Music is acceptable but is better if it is slow, relaxing music and without lyrics.
Encourage your child to revise according to their learning style to maximise effectiveness. For instance an auditory learner may learn better by recording their notes onto a CD or MP3 player and listening to it. A visual learner may learn best by creating pictures, diagrams, graphs or using colours. Kinaesthetic learners learn best when constantly moving around.
Final PreparationDuring the exams it is important that your child gets a good nights sleep. Ensure that they have all the equipment they need – pencils, pens, sharpeners, calculators etc. Find out where and when their exams are. Wish them well and let them know you are supportive and that they can only do their best. It is easier said than done, but try to encourage your child to avoid post mortems with their friends once the exam is over.
Yes, the GCSE’s are important, but life does go on. If you child does not receive the grades they had hoped for you will need to be supportive in helping them to make a decision about what to do next. As well as the option to repeat your child will find that there are many other opportunities out there.