We all want our kids to do well in their studies, especially in the dreaded year of Primary 6 when they’re preparing for PSLE. Exam tips are perhaps the most sought-after advice this season, with “how to keep your children in good physical and mental health” a close second.
This is all the more true in today’s day and age when the pandemic is slowly turning into an endemic. Kids can feel extremely disheartened if they end up missing the exams due to Covid-19. It’s months of preparation gone down the drain, at least till the Ministry of Education (MOE) reorganises the exams for these children.
A sign of relief though was MOE’s recent decision to allow students who are under quarantine to sit for their national year-end examinations. The regulations mandate though the child needs to test negative for COVID-19. But it has come as a sigh of relief for parents.
Nevertheless, as we work our way through the pandemic, parents can prepare children in advance factoring in the uncertainty these days.
In fact, child education expert Alan Yip says that all will be well if you plan ahead. Here are
Anxious for your kid to do well in PSLE?
1. Start Early – Be Proactive
After the year-end exam in the current year, go let your child take a short break – he deserves it! But don’t wait too long until you hit the books again. It sounds kind of cruel but you’re taking advantage of his memory being fresh with the work he’s recently learnt. Use part of the holiday period to review materials covered over the year. Here your child can fill in the gaps as needed instead of wasting precious time catching up with his syllabus in the following year.
2. Establish Relevance
In a nurturing and non-judgmental manner, discuss with your child what her aspirations are in terms of which secondary school, junior college or university she wants to join. This will help to reinforce the importance and relevance of studying hard and getting good grades so that she can achieve her goals.
3. Divide And Conquer
Discipline your child to take some time every day to review manageable chunks of material. Avoid being over-zealous in trying to cram too much information on a given day as this will add unnecessary stress and may result in setbacks. Build up the steady momentum over time for consistent results and more effective time management.
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4. Anticipate Ahead
During the holidays, your child should glance over past exam papers to familiarise himself with the format and types of questions asked so that he has a mental picture of what to expect and is very well-prepared for the style that will be used in questioning.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan…
Start preparing for the big exam at the beginning of the year. Devise a practical and realistic timetable to help your child get the most out of the time he has available.
6. Set Goals
You must get your child to write his study goals down on paper (“Finish 10 pages of Math exercises”). Then paste them up at visible locations around the house, especially near his study area.
This will serve as a visual reminder for them to not distract themselves and also as a form of encouragement to keep working hard. You may also want to consider putting up posters with positive messages or pictures of the school your child wishes to attend to intensify their desire to do well.
7. Rhythmic Review
Get your child to do a quick review of the key points learnt on a new topic or a revision topic an hour after he has learnt it. Have him recall it again the next day, a week from the first review and if he has the time, a month and then six months after the first time. This works best when learning is done way in advance. Of course, as he takes in more information on different topics, there will be more to recall. The reason for doing this is so that the knowledge he has acquired is repeatedly brought to the forefront of his memory for easy access.
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8. Study With Friends
Encourage your child to form a study group with a keen and motivated peer from his class, school or tuition centre. Host them at home with snacks and make arrangements with their parents for pick-up or to send them home.
However, given the pandemic, you can urge your child to keep the study group virtual so that they do not miss out on the group effort. From solving doubts to answering queries, there are plenty of things kids can do when studying with friends.
Such positive peer influence and pressure will spur your child to work harder and stay focused on his goals. It also makes revising for exams less dull and dreary. Just be sure that they’re the responsible types who won’t goof off more than they study.
9. Positive Visualisation
Encourage your child to visualise in his mind past successes and how they made him feel. Use all senses: see, hear and feel! Then get your child to see himself achieving his desired results for the exams. Guide him to experience and “live” mentally the results of his success and
how happy and proud he is to receive his grades.
It is also essential that you practice balance. Make sure your child has enough time to play his favourite sports, spend some time with his friends, watch television and engage himself in other things that interest him as well. Let him do the others things so that he does not experience burnout. This also inculcates a healthy habit of goal-setting and achievement that does not hinder his emotional and physical growth and well-being.
Written by Alan Yip:
Founder and Peak Performance Coach of MIND EDGE
A passionate educator, cutting edge entrepreneur and
one of the most dynamic, powerful and humorous speakers in Asia.
With over 20 years of experience, he is dedicated to empowering others to realise their highest potential for success in school, work and life.
His achievements in Singapore include:
- Author of best-selling FUNtastic Parenting in 2008
- Record Holder (Memory Power), Singapore Book Of Records
- Coach of the first and only Grandmaster Norm of Memory in Singapore
- Coach of the Singapore Memory Team,
which represented Singapore in the 2004 World Memory Championships (U.K.).
His achievements in the U.S.A. include:
- Voted Best MBA Speaker and elected as the first-ever non-American President of the Indiana Personnel Association (U.S.A.)
- Received the honourable appointment to be a Human Rights Commissioner (U.S.A.)
- Consultant to design and development of system improvements for a top-5 global pharmaceutical company in America
- He designed and implemented powerful public relations, low-cost/high-impact marketing, effective leadership, customer delight, impact presentation, win-win negotiation, revenue generation and business growth strategies for small and medium enterprises in America