As the Easter holidays approach many parents will be considering the best way to motivate their teenager into making the most of this crucial exam preparation time. Giving thought to this now will impact on motivation, the effectiveness of revision time and ultimately on their exam results.
Successful revision requires finding the right way for each individual to organise and then retain information, dependent on personality and learning styles. This means highlighting lesson notes, preparing Post-it notes or revision cards with key facts for some, where for others mind maps and pictorial diagrams work better. Now is the time to get organised. Gather revision sheets and practice questions from teachers, as well as seeking clarification in areas they find more tricky, before the holiday starts. Revision should also be about boosting confidence and perception of ability.Mixing with well-motivated, ambitous peers will rub off. In the right environment, confidence and increased expectations can be infectious.
Performing well in past paper questions during independent study time will motivate, as well as giving useful exam skill practice such as coping with time pressure, planning an answer, handwriting speed, concentration, proof reading and critical thinking.
Assist your teen with creating a holiday timetable with the right mix of work and play. Goal setting intermingled with little rewards works well. Agree a strategy for managing distractions such as the mobile phone, Facebook and WhatsApp. Breaks for food and hydration are important. Sleeping in until noon and burning the midnight oil are not adviseable. Ensure time is allocated in equal measure to all subjects, including the more challenging or less enjoyable ones.
Once the holiday revision schedule is mapped out, so you are both happy with the work and social mix, you can relax a bit, knowing all you have to do is find a way to motivate them to stick to it when the time comes!