Check if the students have set-up timetables.
This involves the following:
A year planner
A weekly schedule
A session schedule
Check if they are using the checkmark technique.
Students should keep track of how often they get distracted when doing homework/study. Each time they divert their attention from their work, they give themselves a checkmark. At the end of their study session, they should count their checkmarks, and make a goal to reduce the number of checkmarks in the next study session.
Do not over analyse their exam performance while the exams are in progress.
- A wall chart (year planner).
- Ensure that the student has a watch and a variety of pens for the exams.
- Have a tape recorder/I Pod or MP3 available so that the students can record information that they can listen to, when they are too tired to read.
Keep salt intake low. Salt intake increases blood pressure, and high blood pressure can harm memory, attention span and reasoning. Students should not eat processed food as they contain trans fats that disrupt the messages between
neural pathways. They should get plenty of protein, vitamin D and omega-3.
Some foods are more calming than others. Milk and bananas for example contain naturally occurring morphine like substances, which help to calm a student down. Raw vegetables are also helpful. Some sugary foods on the other hand, just help to wind them up. They may give an instant “energy hit”, but that’s at the cost of making them even more nervous than they were before.
Healthy eating before the examination:
The Students should eat before the examination, preferably something with protein and complex carbohydrates. If they don’t eat before the examination they will feel tired and hungry during the examination. Keep high sugar and high fat foods to a minimum, as these will only give short boosts and guarantee a huge drop in energy levels.
Q. How many hours should students study for?
A. Students should not get caught up in the quantity of time but in the quality. On average leaving certificate students should do homework and study for at least 3 hours every evening and junior certificate students should do at least 2 hours.
Q. How do you get your student to study the subjects they dislike?
A. Sometimes students dislike a subject because they find it difficult or not interesting, by ensuring the student knows exactly what they should know for that subject can make it more manageable.
www.skoool.ie gives very good subject breakdowns. The student can tick off small parts as they go along and they can see their progress.
Q. How do I ensure that my student does not listen to music whilst studying?
A. As the more experienced adult you can only advise on what is best for them, it is better to advise and make suggestions as opposed to give orders, that way they will be in a position to make the decisions themselves.
Q. Do you agree with study groups?
A. Study groups can work very effectively for the student that prefers to learn with others. They have to be well organised and supervised. Personally I find it works really well when the students have the same learning style and are equal in ability. That way the group is not going to fast or too slow.
Should I get my child grinds for every subject?
A. Grinds can be very beneficial for your student. Sometimes a student can excel given 1:1 attention. However it is important that your student tries to study and work things out for themselves and they are not seeing grinds as a quick fix. For example Maths is a taught subject, students really benefit from grinds, some theory subjects such as the theory of Business can be studied on their own. It is important however not to leave grinds to the last minute, keep an eye on all the foundations of subjects and get help for them if they cannot do it themselves or cannot do it with the help of their teachers.
Q. Would you advise Revision Courses?
A. They can be very good for the good student that has been working steadily. They should not be seen as a quick fix!