If it’s exam time again, don’t panic and pretend they’ll go away – they won’t! If you’re organized, exams won’t be the nightmare and if you go about things the right way you’ll even get time for some fun in between!
Tips for elementary students to ease the stress of studying
• Find a good place to work. It must be quiet and uncluttered, well-lit and free from chocolate wrappers and sports socks!
• When you are planning your study, mix up your weak subjects amongst your strong subjects so you don’t do all the difficult topics all at once – it’s really easy to lose your confidence when you are revising and focusing on the tricky subjects altogether.
• Set targets that you know you can reach each day and tick them off as you achieve them.
• Make your notes short and sharp – keep to the main points. Try to get your notes on one side of paper as it makes them easier to remember. Write key facts on post-it notes and pop them on the walls in your kitchen or bedroom.
• Make up silly mnemonics or rhymes (to help you remember important dates or facts i.e big elephants cause accidents under small elephants for “because”
• Use a highlighter pen and mark key areas with different colors.
• If you are an auditory learner try recording your notes on your I-pod or portable CD so you can listen to them in your room or when you are falling asleep. Also recite your notes out loud to yourself so you can hear them.
• If you are a kinaesthetic learner move around the room while you recite information or are learning new material and try to use multimedia resources like the computer or video camera to help you study.
• Test yourself often without looking at your notes, or work with a friend or member of your family testing you and focus on what you need to go over again.
• Have a regular time for physical exercise, walk round the block with the dog, ride a bike, listen to some music or really change your environment to give your brain and eyes a break. You really will come back refreshed and able to absorb information again.
• Time yourself by going over past exam papers against the clock as it gives you confidence to know the types of questions you may come across.
• Experiment with different styles of revision as it helps to alleviate the boredom and keeps you interested.
• Remember to get a proper night sleep – it gives you reserves of energy.
• Listen to Confidence Building CDs that you can fall asleep to – they really give you that little extra that you may need to get you through a difficult time.
• Get yourself in a positive and confident frame of mind – think of 5 things you are really good at and visualise yourself doing those things. As you go into your exam remember those feelings, sounds and thoughts – it will help you relax and focus on what you are good at.
• Ask for help from friends, family and school if you are feeling overwhelmed, confused or unsure.
• Keep the bigger picture to your life – although exams are important they are only one aspect in your life and you need to keep them in perspective.
• Celebrate your small, baby successes along the way.
“Within eight weeks of beginning the Reading Kingdom, Ben’s progress was enormous. Each day that we continue the programs, he improves. It has also boosted his self-esteem. “– Gail Weiner, parent
For more about kids and self-esteem, see our activities for kids page.