We are now in the lead up to the external examination period for our Year 11 and Year 13 students. This is a challenging time for all concerned, but perhaps most of all for the students! Young people, possibly more than ever, can feel pressured to perform well to secure their future of choice. So, what can parents do to help support their children during this ‘testing’ time?
- Make sure that they have a realistic revision plan in place. Failure to plan? Plan to fail.
- Make sure that they eat breakfast. Hoyland et al., 2009 reported the positive effects of eating breakfast on cognition, behavior and school performance.
- Make sure they test themselves- this has been shown to be an excellent test of memory showing up gaps in knowledge.
- Encourage them to test somebody else. This has been found to help students organise and recall information.
- Make sure that they try to balance their day including having some fresh air and exercise. In their paper ‘The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature’, researchers extolled the positives effects on restoring cognition by interacting with nature versus an urban environment.
- Make sure they put their phone away and turn off social media. Simply seeing a mobile phone reduces concentration and focus levels.
- Make sure they sleep. There is little evidence to show the benefits of trying to sustain all-night revision sessions and performing well in exams. Lack of sleep can cause cognitive deficits. Having a regular bed-time and sleep pattern have positive effects on memory and concentration.