What should your child do on the eve of a major exam?

It’s the last week or so before your child takes their year-end exams. By now, they should be counting down the days until they finally step into the exam hall.

In this article, we’ll go through a few things that you and your child can prepare on the eve of exams in order to make sure they hit the ground running.

Early to bed, early to rise

A proper sleep schedule is arguably important for everyone, but it’s even more crucial for students getting ready for their year-end exams. Sleep specialists typically recommend 8-9 hours of sleep for optimal health and cognitive functioning.

Be sure to tune your body clock to a time that allows for a maximum amount of energy during the morning, which is when exams are usually scheduled. This means no more burning the midnight oil about a week before the actual exams; you don’t want your child to become too accustomed to staying up at night and sleeping in the next morning.

Prioritise revision subjects

Design a study timetable mapped to your exam timetable. Schedule it such that it appears to mirror your child’s exam schedule. For example, if the first three subjects of their exams are Maths, Science and English, the last three days of their study timetable should converge on English, Science and Maths. This will ensure that they retain as much information as possible heading into their first paper, while ensuring that the other subjects are still present in their mind.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

Although most of your child’s revisions should be done at this point, the renowned Pomodoro Technique is still highly useful for the last stretch of studying. The short, productive sessions are especially ideal when it comes to maximising efficiency on the eve of exams.

First, have your child commit to 25 minutes of focused study, followed by a short five minute break. Then repeat three more times. At the end of the fourth session, allow your child to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before restarting the process. Feel free to choose the subject and topic of your choice in between sessions.

Get some exercise

It is an easy excuse to consciously ignore exercises, given that exams are around the corner. But don’t think of it as a waste of time; on the contrary, physical activity helps to improve concentration levels and reduces stress as well.

There’s no need to commit to a strenuous workout regimen, either. If it’s possible, try to spare 30 minutes every day to let your child stretch their muscles, anything from going for a quick run outside, a few minutes of yoga or even just stationary exercises at their desk.

Healthy bites

Eating well ensures that your child stays fit and healthy for their exams, so having a balanced diet is key. The usual healthy foods apply here - fish, vegetables and lean meat, moderately seasoned and served in modest amounts.

With that said, it’s OK to have ‘cheat days’ once in a while. If your child manages to be extra productive one day, a rare treat will do wonders for their morale. Just be sure not to overdo it.

Take it easy

By now, if your child has spent the last few weeks aggressively studying for their exams, it’s safe to say that they’ve covered almost everything they need to study. In that case, why not let them relax a little? Giving them the chance to take their mind off their exams might just be the thing to keep them motivated and optimistic when they finally step into the exam hall.

In just a blink of an eye, the exams will have come and gone, and your child will be all set for a well-earned vacation. Help keep their spirits up by reminding them that they’re almost there, and not to give up. All the best for their exams!

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