Studying is usually defined by the same, old, boring methods – reading, writing study notes, and rote learning.
While these tasks should take up the bulk of your teen’s studying time, there are certainly other less well-known methods that effective studiers use to make sure they get the grades they’re aiming for.
The five methods below are all things YOU can encourage them to do and help them with, and will contribute massively to your teen’s studying success.
1. Help them make a study timetable
Your teen’s study timetable only needs to be very simple, yet the benefits of having one (and using it!) are huge:
- Your teen is much more likely to complete the study they need to if it’s planned in advance and written down. A timetable achieves both these things immediately.
- By marking out when they will study each subject, your teen will ensure they study everything they need to in time for each exam.
- Quite simply, having a study timetable = more study done
Making and sticking to a timetable is Organization 101, and being organized does absolute wonders for stress levels. By helping your teen get organized, you’re helping to keep their stress levels down… something the whole family will benefit from!
2. Implement incentives where appropriate
Many teenagers need a good kick up the bum leading up to exams. If this sounds familiar then we suggest using a few simple incentives to give them the boost they need.
But, they need to be the right kind of incentives…
Harvard Educational Professors have shown that incentives based on a child’s inputs [work done] are far more effective than those based on their outputs [grades].
This means you should base your incentives on the number of hours of study done, rather than the grades your teen ends up getting.
3. Introduce them to handy websites.
The web is a goldmine of fabulous free resources designed specifically for high school exam study, of any schooling system.
To get you started here are a few of our personal favorites:
- Khan Academy: This site has thousands of free videos covering everything from math to chemistry to finance at a level that’s perfect for high school students.
It also has a ‘Practice’ section that acts as a personal math tutor. All free!
- GCSE Bitesize: Based on the British curriculum, but a fantastic website bursting with resources for any high school student anywhere.
- YouTube: Yes, it is one of the best tools for procrastinating, but if your teen can resist their browsing urges, YouTube probably has at least 10 videos explaining any topic they could ever need to master.
4. Past exam papers
We credit a lot of our own exam success to studying from past exams. Not every teacher will provide them, but it never hurts to ask.
They’re a wonderful study tool because:
- The questions and format of the exams this year will probably be very similar to those in previous years.
- They’ll give your teen the best idea of what to expect in the exam, and they’ll want to avoid any nasty surprises!
- Going over past exams will very quickly show your teen what they need to brush up on.
5. Test them
A great tool for studying is getting someone to test your knowledge.
As a parent, you may not know what protein synthesis or differentiation is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help your teen memorize those definitions.
As long as you can read, you can ask questions from their study notes. Flash cards could also fit in very well here.
As you can see, just because your teen is growing up and studying for subjects you haven’t thought about for 30 odd years, it doesn’t mean you have to be a spectator of their success.
Behind every successful high school student are very proud and supportive parents. We hope that the tips we’ve outlined here help you help your teen reach the level of academic achievement you know they’re capable of.
It’ll be YOU they thank first at their high school graduation.