With the examinations around the corner, many students are currently rushing to complete their revision. However, is your child revising effectively?
Here are some mistakes your child might be making during revision, which may be causing more harm than good.
Your child’s textbook is not a coloring book. By highlighting too many sentences and phrases, they run the risk of creating visual ‘clutter’. This mess makes it difficult to pick out important information during revision. As a result, your child end up spending more time figuring out their notes, instead of revising relevant and appropriate topics.
• Narrow down the search from sentences to specific phrases and key words in the sentence, taking out conjunctions such as “and”, “or” or “the”
• In fact, to help make references easy, try color-coding notes so as to better distinguish each topic and concept from each other
Over-complex Concept Maps
Creating concept maps is a great way to visualize your child’s thought process and important concepts. However similar to over-highlighting, students often make the mistake of cluttering their concept maps with too many words and ideas. This will only create a huge mess in your child’s notes and they will end up spending more time decoding the great mysteries that have written.
• Use short phrases that represent certain topics and ideas, you can help your child to include images and symbols to shorten the sentences
• De-clutter the concept map by creating other sub-maps. Separating the maps would help to better sort your child’s thoughts, allowing for more efficient studying
Colors and pictures are integral in helping our brain to remember certain things. In fact, research has shown that our brains remember things better when color and pictures are incorporated into it.1 Thus by creating notes using a monochromatic color scheme, it may actually be causing more harm then good.
• Try using highlighters, or writing in different coloured markers but prevent over-highlighting
• Using colourful post-it notes is also another clever way to integrate color into note-taking, and it is also a fast way in helping to organise and insert important information
At the end of it all, your child may actually find note-taking a much more pleasant experience to deal with!
Not Having a Timetable
Our body thrives on having a fixed schedule to work with. Creating a study timetable might be the key to encourage your child’s body to work. Similar to setting an alarm, a timetable helps your child’s body get used to new habits. In fact, research has shown that a new habit is formed whenever you perform an action continuously for 21 days.
• Take 5 to 10 minutes to fix a certain timetable for your child for each coming week. Taking into consideration all their subjects and extra curricular activities
• You might even wish to invest in a good planner and organizer for your child, as a little incentive to start planning ahead
• DO NOT overwork your child. By planning too many things for your child, this may essentially lead to burning out before the examinations start
Lack of Sleep
Last but not least, the serial killer of grades. It is an increasing trend among students to pull an all-nighter before an important exam or test the next day. However, this popular method is doing your child’s brain more harm than good.
When your child is suffering from a lack of sleep, their short-term memory will be reduced, thus making it more and more difficult to remember important information as the night drags on. Furthermore, it will lead to a shortened attention span during the critical exam period.
• Get a good night’s rest before the paper. A solid 8 hours of sleep will be enough to rejuvenate your child’s brain and boost memory
• Start your child’s revision beforehand. Take 10-15 minutes everyday throughout the term to read up on past lessons and start major revisions at least two weeks before your child’s exams
Having good revision habits is a key to attaining good grades. Especially in such crucial moments where time is a very limited resource. It is essential that students are equipped with good study and revision habits.
1 Why our memories work better in colour. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-112944/Why-memories-work-better-colour.html