Exam season is upon us! This semester’s B.C. provincial exams will be held from June 21 to June 27, and cover English, Math/Numeracy, and French subjects.
Back in 2016, the province changed the provincial exam requirements. Instead of writing five provincial exams, most students only have to write two (and French immersion students write three). While the reduction in exams helps ease some of the stress around this time of the year, those final exams—plus finals for any remaining courses—can still feel like quite the burden.
It’s common for households to become a stressful place this time of year. Emotions are at an all-time high, and both parents and kids may be seeing the impacts of the stress. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Let’s talk about 5 ways you and your family can help prepare for the B.C. provincial exams, as well as other high-pressure exams like the SATs.
5. Give Your Kid the Space To Succeed
Remind your child why you love them. And, remind yourself, that a mark doesn’t define your child’s worth!
Okay, this may feel counterintuitive to a lot of parents. We live in an era where parent involvement is at an all-time high, and many of us feel the need to be heavily involved in every aspect of our kids lives—especially academics. This is their future, after all!
Instead of asking them every day whether they studied, give them the guidance of how to study. You may be wondering…how do I give them guidance when I’m not even sure?! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – just continue reading!
Being positive and supportive is crucial to exam success!
4. Start Studying As Soon As Possible
Many of us love to joke about procrastinating and cram studying, but this study “tactic” does not set our kids up for success! Instead, kids should study regularly in 20 to 50-minute intervals, with solid breaks in between. This style of distributed learning helps people retain long-term information significantly better.
If your teen isn’t already studying regularly for final exams, it’s time to start. There are lots of ways kids can practice and retain the information they’ve already learned:
- Read through past units & create practice tests
- Create a personal study guide
- Make & practice with flashcards
- Watch YouTube videos on the unit
- And more based on your child’s learning style*
*Your child’s learning style will help dictate the best way they can study. If you’ve been working with our Tutoring…With A Twist team, you already know your kid’s learning style and have likely identified ways to work with it. If you’re unfamiliar with The Twist style of learning, check out the VARK Learning Styles here.
3. Provide Nutritious Meals & Snacks
If your meal planning and prep has fallen to the wayside this time of year, you’re not alone. But it may be time to give yourself a little pep talk and get back on track. Nutrition plays a critical role in brain development and can have a direct impact on exam success.
Most teenagers I know don’t default to healthy, nutritious food when they fend for themselves. But they will eat almost anything delicious that’s placed in front of them. Make healthy meals for dinner that are packed with healthy vegetables, and put an extra healthy snack or two in front of them when they are making their lunches in the morning. Berries, yogurt, nuts, and seeds should all do the trick.
Then, help them up their snack game too. Take the time to chop up those vegetables, buy the single-serving yogurt, portion out trail mix, and just make it as easy as possible to grab healthy, nutritious choices.
Depending on your teen, you may need to take a break from junk food too. We all know how easy it is to grab chips instead of carrots, so use your discretion and temporary eliminate all junk food from the household if you need to. If you don’t buy it, it’s not there to eat!
2. Help Create A Focused Study Environment
Supporting teens in their quest to do their best on the B.C. provincial exams is not always convenient! The reality is that most kids focus best in a quiet, distraction-free environment. And, as much as we want to pass the blame onto cellphones and TVs, we can be the distraction as well!
Let your kid study wherever he or she wants to and then work around it. You know your child better than anyone, which means you also know what conditions they study best in. (If you don’t know, that’s fine—just ask them!) Help your kid create that environment so they can do their best, regardless of the inconvenience it causes you.
If they want the dining room table, give it to them. No TV, radio, or idle chit-chat? You got it! Do whatever is reasonably possible to help your teen prep in the way that works best for them.
Role model a study environment. This means that you also put your devices away and show them what distraction free learning looks like. This is a great time for you to catch up on some reading, do the taxes you’ve been putting off doing, do some meal planning/meal prep for the week or maybe even learn to meditate!
1. Offer to Assist In The Ways You Can
You may not be able to help your kid with the pre-calculus portion of their Numeracy exam, but there are other ways you can support your student. Let your kid know that you’re available and willing to help them in any way they can, as long as they identify that need to you.
For example, if the material is difficult and you don’t know how to solve it either, have a conversation that suggests resources they may have forgotten about, such as:
- Talking directly to their teacher
- School homework/study clubs
- YouTube videos
- Educational websites
- Local tutoring
You can also keep the line of communication open in case they’ve lost an important tool, like a calculator, or need something from you—like more silence. Simply let your kid know that you’re proud of them and know they’re doing their best and remind them you’re available to help them overcome any barriers that stand in their way. You may be surprised what they say when that line of communication is open!
Check out additional resources for this time of year:
- H.O.M.E.W.O.R.K. Stress Check
- How To Finish The School Year Strong
- How To End The Dreaded Homework Battle!
What are you doing to support your teen through final exams or the B.C. provincials? Let us know on Facebook!