The Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore, has made a grand move at the start of 2019 to reduce academic testing at Primary 1 and 2 levels.
The move was greatly applauded by both parents and teachers, as many have come forward to share that children of that age group may not be ready for examinations. Not forgetting the middle and upper primary children, mid-year examinations have been scrapped for both Primary 3 and 5 levels too.
Having steered away with weighted tests, teachers are now using qualitative descriptors to report on your children’s learning. While it may be a good move to reduce learning stress, the transition of preparing and sitting for exams in primary 3 may become an unfamiliar concept for your children.
Moreover, the content rigour at upper levels may be a struggle for children. It is not a wonder then, that parents seek out enrichment programmes more intensively once their child enters primary school.
To support your children in their exam preparations, here are some tips to prepare for exams in school.
Tried-and-Tested Tips to Prepare for Exams in School
1. Monitor your children’s school work
One of the surest ways to guarantee an insight to your children’s academic journey is to look through their school work every day. This is an important tip to help your children prepare for exams in school. Any weighted assessments or examinations will be based on the topics that have been taught in class.
Looking through their school work will allow you to understand what has been covered. You can also gain an understanding on your children’s comprehension of the topics through the teacher’s marking. If your children are facing a problem with a particular topic, you can address it with them or ask their teachers for help.
2. Understand your children’s learning style
Everyone learns differently. Forcing your children to sit and complete countless of assessment books may not be the most effective way of enriching their academic journey. In doing this, there is no engagement or interaction that children require to absorb information.
If you find that your children are not motivated to learn in this manner, perhaps you could look for enrichment programmes for primary school students. Some enrichment programmes are delivered in an interactive, light-hearted manner that is engaging to children. When children are fully involved in their learning, they remember better.
3. Design a study schedule or system
At the start of the school year, sit down with your children to design a simple study schedule or system to help them get into the habit of regular revision. Revising their school work does not always entail sitting down for a full hour after a hard day at school.
Rather, a good 20 minutes is enough for them to run through what they have covered in class that day. You can do it verbally, or get them to write it down in a book. This just helps to jolt their memories and keep the learning fresh. It also gives you an opportunity to be kept up-to-date on their learning at school.
When you receive the examination schedule from the school, you can begin to increase the intensity of their revision. One of the tips to prepare for exams in school is ensuring that your children start examination revision early. By starting early, you have more time on hand to kick off revision on a relaxed tone.
Begin with light and simple revision that reinforces your children’s concept of the various subjects. Gaining confidence and familiarity with the subjects is foundation work to tackling more challenging questions they will encounter ahead.
4. Practice mock papers
Primary 3 students will have their first experience of sitting for the examinations at the end of the year. Given that this is a new concept for them, they may require some practice at home to get used to the examination setting.
As the examination dates draw near, provide opportunities for your children to complete examination papers of similar format within the stipulated time. This is important so that your children can judge the pace needed to complete a paper of this rigour. Also, it trains their focus under examination conditions.
5. Sleep well, eat well and play well
Balance your children’s schedule with sufficient sleep and play. Ensure that your children get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night, eat nutritious meals and set aside time for their hobbies.
As much as the examinations may be important, you should also send an important message to your children that their overall well-being matters more than their academic results. By teaching them to look after themselves during a stressful period, you are equipping them with life skills to manage their stress levels.
Elevate your child’s subjects understanding through concept formation
For parents who may struggle with concept development in the higher content your children are learning, looking towards enrichment programmes for primary schools may be an avenue you might want to explore. Rather than feel frustrated and inadequate in explaining the concepts to your children, getting the help of professionals may alleviate that negative feeling.
Our Primary Success Programme, catered to Primary 3 to Primary 5 children, is conducted on a termly basis. All four subjects in the primary school syllabus – English, Chinese, Math and Science – are available. This programme will reinforce your children’s subject understanding through comprehensive and interactive lessons. As a result, your children will demonstrate deep understanding and effective application of the learning in their academic performance.
Find out more about our enrichment programmes for your primary school children.
Written by Danielle Hee