Exams are always a stressful time for students, whether you’re a freshman in high school or a senior in university, but your child’s first exam? Nothing can quite match that. Be there for your child during their first exam period by learning the best study techniques and ways to implement them around the house. This article lists six ways to turn your house into a study oasis! With the following tips and techniques, your child is sure to successfully survive their first exam!  

1. Prevent Them From Multitasking

In the age of technology, students are surrounded by endless distractions. Though many students might claim they can study effectively while multitasking, studies show they can’t, or at least not nearly as effectively as if they were focused on one task. If texts or Facebook are constantly interrupting your child’s study stream, it’s likely that their memory retention is less and their learning is shallower. Encourage your child to study in a quiet space without a television or home phone, and without their own personal cell phone, iPod, and laptop (if possible).

2. Create A Quiet Study Space

Silence demands undivided concentration, and undivided concentration is essential when studying for a final exam. Make your house noise-friendly by agreeing to turn off the TV during study hours or playing outside with younger children while your eldest is studying. If the house is simply too rambunctious for your child to study in, suggest they study at the local library or in a nearby park.

3. Encourage Them to Take Regular (And Effective) Breaks

It has been scientifically proven that study breaks increase memory retention and should be an essential part of any study session. Research recommends a 10-minute study break after every 60-90 minutes of studying. However, beware that breaks should still be productive. Encourage your child not to engage in social media during their study breaks as this has been proven to increase stress. Instead, urge them to go for a walk outside as this actually calms the brain and reduces anxiety, as well as relieves pain and discomfort caused by hunching over a desk.

4. Stock the House with the Right Supplies

Having the right supplies are vital to a successful study session. Flash cards are one of the best tools for memorization and quizzing. Colour coding is also especially helpful for visual and tactile learners as it allows them to make clear distinctions between different categories when studying a subject. Taking notes by hand is another effective study technique, much more effective than taking notes on a laptop. Each method of taking notes requires a different type of cognitive processing. When notes are taken by hand, learning retention is greater because without the ability to write as quickly as they type, they are forced to summarize the material before writing it down. So make sure your house is stocked with the following supplies:

  • Index Cards
  • Multi-coloured markers, pens, or highlighters
  • Lined Paper

5. Prepare Study Snacks

It’s important that your child isn’t studying on an empty stomach. Certain types of food have the ability to boost mental performance, improve mood, reduce stress, and increase energy levels, all of which leads to a much more productive study session. From apples to dark chocolate to greek yogurt, many of the best study snacks may already be in your kitchen, and if not, can be easily found at a local grocery store. Her Campus has an excellent list of the best study snacks to eat while studying for an exam.

6. Be Their Study Buddy!

Having a study buddy, or a study group, is a great way to increase productivity and retention when studying, so ask your child if you can quiz them or help them study in any way. Studying together not only prevents procrastination, but it allows your child to explain a concept or definition out loud. The technique of studying out loud is particularly great for auditory learners, but is generally an excellent method of memorization. Our memory works to remember the reading of words on a page or the hearing of words that have been spoken, but also to remember the production of words, which adds another dimension to our memory retention.