Laura Armfield

With exam season approaching many parents will be wondering how they strike the balance between supporting their child and pushing them too far. As a parent i’ve put together a few ideas that might help you navigate the often stressful waters of exam preparation and revision.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail…

Preparation and planning are so important when it comes to exams. Before starting revision make a plan, help your child create a revision timetable; portioning out time to each key subject and ensuring that you help them schedule in appropriate breaks between sessions.

From stationery to highlighters and note cards to books… make sure that your child has all the materials that they need. For some students, nice stationery can motivate and keep interest levels up.

Communication, communication, communication…

As with so many things communication is key. Talk to your child and find out what areas they feel confident in and what their fears or concerns are. If you feel you need more information maybe have a chat with your child’s teacher so you can fully understand what is happening in the classroom.

Encourage your child to see the benefits of working hard and doing well in their exams. Some parents like to offer rewards, which can work well but for me its also important that your child wants to succeed for themselves and not just for the reward. Perhaps organise a nice surprise for the end of exams to celebrate together.

Cool, calm & rested

Exams can be stressful time for all the family. One way that you can help as a parent is to try and make home life as relaxing as possible. Ensure that your child has somewhere quiet to revise so that they are able to focus. Make sure that you are stocked up on some healthy revision break snacks to keep them going between meals. As important as revising is, encourage breaks and family meal times. Getting some fresh air and exercise can help clear the mind and maintain focus.

A rested brain is a productive brain, try to discourage late night revision sessions and instead get your child to opt for an early night. As Prof. Della Sala says “sleep is fundamental, as it allows memories to consolidate”.

Getting quizzy with it

Encourage your child to make flash cards for each subject and write key headings for main topics and themes. Consolidating pages and pages of notes makes them more accessible and give your child simple headings to expand on during discussions.

You can then use these cards to do a quick fire quizzes to test learning once your child feels confident and ready to give it a go. This will help you and your child to see where you need to more work and hopefully encourage the student.

For a fun extension turn the tables and ask your child to teach you about something they have been revising. Once your lesson is complete let them play quiz master and see how you do. Not only will it help you to understand how they’re feeling, but teaching others is a great way to reinforce knowledge and will show the student just how well they know their subject.


I hope that these tips are helpful, remember that for everyone revision is different and not all techniques will work for each student. TWed always advocate talking to your child, finding out what they enjoy and what works for them.


If you come up with any more top tips, we’d love to hear them! Tweet us @parenthub_uk

Are you a teacher looking to embrace parent power in your classroom? Get in touch and see how we can help your student outcomes soar. or tweet @parenthub_uk .

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