Effective learning habits – Top tips for parents

How can you best support your child with their learning?  In the lead up to mock exams and in preparation for final exams the following tips may be useful.  Please click on the tips below for further information.

Tip 1 – Ensure your child reviews their notes using active rather than passive study techniques.

Research has shown that students often prefer techniques which have proven to be ineffective (simply highlighting and re-reading notes) Instead, students should be use active techniques such as producing flashcards, mind-maps and answering exam questions.  

Tip 2 - When it comes to learning, reviewing information is not enough.  Ensure your child is testing themselves regularly. 

There are many ways they can do this such as recreating mind-maps from memory, testing themselves with flashcards and answering exam questions without notes.   If you have the time, you could test them to ensure they do not cheat!

Tip 3 – After testing themselves, ensure your child checks their notes for accuracy. 

They should refer to exam board mark schemes or class notes to check their answers for accuracy.  This is an essential part of the learning process as it tells them what they do and don’t know and how they can improve.

Tip 4 - Space out learning over time – do not cram!

Help your child to produce a study timetable that allows them to cover all topics.  Ensure they space out their learning of a topic into small chunks over time.  4 x 1 hour sessions on a topic is much more effective than cramming 4 hours into one session just before the exam. 

Tip 5 – Help your child stay healthy and happy.

Ensure your child plans in regular rest breaks and rewards themselves by doing something they enjoy.  It is important to eat healthy and get at least 8 hours sleep per night as this is the time when the brain consolidates learning.

To learn more about the science behind learning and how our memory affects how we learn then take a look at the following document.

Study Skills 

Take a look at the following Study Skills Sessions:

1.  Study Skills Session One - What is memory and elaboration?

2.  Study Skills Session Two - Spaced retrieval practice 



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