As parents in India – one of the things we are most worried about – is our child getting good marks in exams.
No matter how good our child is various other aspects of life – doing well in academics is still very important.
“Marks” in the “Exams” are still a very crucial determinant of how a child is viewed by the world.
And as much as we may protest – marks eventually become one of the things that determine a child’s self-esteem.
Also read Why is my child not studying for exams?
In my experience of working with several thousands of parents and children – I have realized this.
One of the main reasons children do not get the marks that they deserve is because they are unable to manage time and prioritize.
Why does my child not get good marks in the exams?
Children don’t get good marks in the exams for two reasons
- Children study incorrectly – Studying incorrectly means that they spend their time studying what is not important from the exam point of view.
- Children are unable to reproduce what they know in the exam – Children spend too much time writing things that are unimportant and too little time writing things that are important.
What can I do to help my child get more marks in the exams?
The key to performing well in exams and getting good marks then – is actually dependent upon time management.
Time is always limited. There is a limited amount of time for studying and there is a limited amount of time for reproducing what you have studied in the exam. And therefore the key to doing well in exams and getting good marks – is dependent on good time management.
Unfortunately for children – the area of the brain that helps in prioritizing and time management develops rather slowly and may not function very efficiently in the years when they are in school and need to get marks in the exams.
It is therefore very important for parents to help children learn prioritizing and time management.
How can I help my child learn time management?
- Help your child to make a time-table – Children often want to do several things and accomplish a lot – but they are unable to plan their day. In the bid to do what is urgent and necessary every day – they miss out on scheduling time for what is important but not urgent in the present moment.Help your child to make a time-table for everything that he has to do and everything that he wants to do. Show him how some things can be done simultaneously. Also show him how doing a huge task in small chunks every day can make things very easy to learn and memorize.
- Help your child to focus on subjects that he finds difficult – Every child is likely to find some subjects more difficult than others. With their childlike understanding of the world and in an attempt to salvage their self-esteem – they typically avoid studying subjects in which they are not so good and instead keep studying the subjects they are good at. This makes them feel good about themselves while they are studying. However this leads to their downfall in exams – but this is something they are unable to visualize. Help your child to gently admit and acknowledge that he needs to put in more time studying the subjects he is not good at. When you make his time-table – help him to schedule more time for those subjects than for those he is good at. Left to himself – your child is likely to make a time-table which does the reverse.
- Make sure your child reads every chapter – When a question paper is set – the questions in it are usually belong to every chapter in the syllabus. In order to do well in exams then – children need to study every chapter carefully. When they study on their own however, children often do not study all the chapters. The first few chapters in the book are studied repeatedly by the child. These are typically the introductory chapters and not very valuable from the exam point of view. In the bargain – the more important chapters in the later parts of the book are often left untouched.Help your child to understand how questions are set and schedule more time to study these chapters rather than the other chapters.
- Encourage children to solve old question papers – When children study – they typically keep reading and rereading the material they are given. They never question themselves on what they have learnt. As a result of this – they are not used to recalling what they have learnt. When they are faced with a question in the exam then – they take time to recall what they have studied. When answers are hastily framed in while the student is in the exam hall and under understandable stress – they answers obviously are not good enough. Also, because children are unused to framing the answers a lot of time is wasted doing this which results in the later questions being answered hurriedly.
What is the biggest mistake that parents make when they teach children for exams?
Dedicated diligent Indian parents often think that they can help their children score well in academics by allowing them to study all the time. To facilitate this – they do everything else that the child needs to do for him. Parents do their child’s daily chores, they do their children’s school projects and they do not expect them to contribute to household work.
They forget that doing these everyday tasks helps children to learn time management in an entertaining non stressful environment.
Time management is learnt by practice. Help your child get the practice he needs.
Read more tips for time management for students here