5 ways you can help your child with exam preparation

As exam season starts,  mothers disappear. Even many take leave from the work. Where are they? Helping kids with the studies!

Don’t think this is exaggeration. Children need support and mothers are happy to do it. But now a days, increased syllabus is putting lot of pressure on children as well as mothers.

Let us see, how much children have to study.

My son Tejas is in 4th standard, CBSE. He has 5 subjects. From each subject, he has around 22 chapters for the exam.  That is,  total 110 chapters to study in 10 days of study holidays.

Thanks to all my learning from development psychology, Tejas knows many tricks to learn , memorize and recall. I am sharing 5 of those tricks here, so you can help your kid with exams. Even if your kid has a tutor, read on. Some tips go beyond teaching.

1.Make a study plan

Discuss with your child and make a study plan. Let child have the final say. But don’t hesitate to negotiate.

We decided to plan studies for 7 days ( 3 days buffer time). Tejas said he can study 3 chapters from each subject every day.  Total 15 chapters per day. Estimated time 3 hours.

I am a full-time working mother. I can’t sit with him for 3 hours. So I said, I will help him 1 hour per day. He can note his doubts and ask me later. He agreed.

Goal of this study plan is to gradually make your child study independently over the years. With automation and changing technologies, future demands people who can quickly learn on their own. So child should be able to study independently.

Study plan should be written and displayed where child can see it often. This is an easy method of enforcement, without any yelling. Praise every time child follows the plan.

2. Rewards 

Promise short-term and long-term rewards.

But promise it based on effort not on the result.

Think what child wants most and build on it.

For Tejas, I promised, if he studies according to the plan, I will help him with his science experiment daily for 30 minutes. And if he studies till the end of the exams, I will take him to Wonder-la amusement park.

Fulfill the promise.

3. Talk about exam fears

If you wonder, why your intelligent child is not doing well in exams, she might be having some hidden exam fears. According to development psychology, fear of failure is one of the major fears in the children.

I asked Tejas following questions

“What best can happen in exams?”

Tejas : ” I get full marks and principal ma’am praises me.”

“What worst can happen in exams?”

Tejas – “I will fail.”

“From 1 to 10 ( 1 – lowest), what are your chances of getting full marks?”

Tejas –  “5 out of 10.”

“From 1 to 10, what are your chances of failing?”

Tejas – “1 out of 10”

These questions will tell, how confident your child is. Whenever asking these questions, don’t show any emotions. You will get honest answers if child feels accepted.

Then I asked

“How can you get full marks?”

Tejas – “By studying well.”

“How can you fail?”

Tejas – “I don’t know.” ( Notice, this is only illogical fear that is present in every child).

Some of the worst exam fears that children have

  1. Studying wrong subject
  2. Losing books before exam
  3. Falling sick
  4. Getting blame of copying and teacher writing it on the answer sheet
  5. Sitting with bully child in the exam
  6. Losing hall ticket, pens, pencil, worksheets

Talk about all these fears and assure that, anything happens you will help and love. This will stop children from taking extreme measures if they don’t do well in the exams.

4. Memory techniques

Memory is very important to do well in exams. Teach your kid memory techniques. Abbreviation, story making, songs, visualization..there are many techniques. For example, a difficult math equation can be turned into a song. A big comprehension can be made into a story.

Another cool method is to record lessons in your child’s voice and play it often. Also find what your child forgets, make it into a chart and display it proudly at home. School rooms are filled with charts for a reason.

5. Acupressure

I have learned and practicing acupressure from couple of years. It is very effective physically and mentally.

Stomach – 36

Located on the leg, 3 fingers(child’s) from the end of knee cap and one finger to the outside of the bone.

Do clock wise massage seven times with moderate pressure. This point improves short-term memory. Also calms and sharpens the mind. It is one of the energy points.

Spleen – 06

Located 4 fingers from protruding ankle bone towards the calf muscle.

This point is good for long-term memory. Also reduces anxiety. ( Don’t press in case of leg swelling or varicose veins).

Apply moderate pressure for 1 minute.


I need to help Tejas with his science experiment now. Please do let me know if these tips were useful to you.

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Chetana S

Chetana S

Chetana is an animator, story teller, entrepreneur and engineer who has worked in technology domains with international clients. She is certified in psychology from Yale University and also a certified story teller from Kathalaya. She had immense success in combining psychology with story telling.

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9 thoughts on “5 ways you can help your child with exam preparation”

  1. I was very bad in self studying till my PU and I used to score marks because of my teachers’ teaching and the way they made us read. These simple and kids friendly tips are highly practical. I like the way you showed how to figure out if the child has exam fear. As one of the reader mentioned in a previous comment, these tips could help a child to organise. Thanks for the useful tips.

    If I recall my childhood, I didn’t know the purpose of studying and preparing for exams. I think, this is important for a kid.

    • Thanks Sindhu. Glad to know that these tips are useful to you. As you said, children don’t understand the purpose of studying. I think all they should be learning in first year is ‘why to study’ and ‘how to study’. From IKnowItMOM we are coming up with “School” content ( in the form of stories, workbooks and micro lessons) which will make children understand these basic concepts. It will also help them to develop right attitude towards school so they can get best out of it.

  2. Good article for all the parents. I feel most of the points are covered and must be followed. But also children must practice (writing or reciting) before the exam. Confidence increases as they keep practicing.

  3. Its realy nice to see that the author has written the live experiences which are highly effective in tackling the children when both the parents are working. These tricks will not only help them to organize themselves well before the exams n face it with much more confidence than being affraid off.


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