How to help your child with their revision - five proven strategies

We want our children to do well in exams and effective revision plays a crucial role. Whilst you can’t revise for your child, there are lots of ways you can help them revise for themselves. Here are some ideas:



1. Practise and repetition

If you have the time and it’s something they’d find helpful, give them the chance to recite, repeat and practise what they’ve learnt with you. Even if you don’t know the answers, the opportunity to say out loud what’s in their mind can help clarify whether they have grasped the concepts or whether they are still hazy. Other ways you might be able to help is using quizzes, mind maps, white boards, multiple choice or sound bites to see what they’ve learned.


A group of school students revising for their secondary school exams, looking at laptop with revision paper on floor
Host a revision day with their friends

2. Host a revision day

Revising together can also help, so encourage them to revise with friends if it’s something they enjoy. This gives them a chance to test one another, swap revision notes and revise in different atmospheres.



3. Timed exams / questions

Closer to the exams your child will benefit from completing a number of past exam questions. Help them prepare by creating an environment that resembles the conditions they are likely to experience in the exam hall - minimise external sounds, setup a clear desk and if you can, locate a single clock to encourage your child to time manage under test conditions. Once the allocated time has come to an end, get your child to stop writing as they may be tempted to continue. If they did not finish the exam get them to reflect on the reasons why. Do they need to do more revision, improve their time management or work on their exam technique?


Mother and son revising together for upcoming exams in the living room
Let your child teach you something!

4. Act as the student

Another effective revision technique is to encourage your child to speak through their subject knowledge. By taking on the role of the student, ask your child to explain a topic from one of their subjects. Listen carefully and don’t be afraid to ask them a question if you do not fully understand what they are saying. Studies have shown that one of the best ways to revise is by teaching others.



5. Mind-maps / brain dumps

At the start of a revision session get your teen to write down everything they can think of related to that subject topic without looking at their text book or notes. This does not need to be neat and tidy, and can be in note-form as opposed to full sentences. Even if they can’t remember much at all, going through the process of a brain dump will help prime their brain for learning.




A note for you

There’s lots more things you can do at home to help your teen get the best out of their GCSE or sixth form years, so do take a look at our specialist guides, The Parents' Guide to Study and Exam Revision - GCSE or Sixth Form:



 

We always love to hear from you, so do let us know if there are any subjects you’d like us to chat to you about. Stay safe and keep happy,


Vanessa Green - Vanessa@theparentsguideto.co.uk