It can be frightening or even scary for your child the day just before Science PSLE, especially if it’s their first major exam in their life, or if they are weak in Science. Many primary 6 students often have restless nights before the big exam, and it’s up to you, their parents to make sure that they are well-rested and ready for the exam. So, here are our 4 tips on what to do to make sure your child is raring to go for their A!
Don’t let your child stay up all night to study, even if they insist.
You might think that letting your child stay up to prepare for such a big exam might be a good idea, and head off to bed yourself first. But don’t let your child burn the midnight oil in the pursuit of a good PSLE Science grade, especially not the night before. That is quite possibly the worst possible thing you could let your child do.
Studies have shown that sleep, deep sleep in particular (a sleep you fall into after a few hours), is critical for memory forming and retention. While you sleep, your brain will form new connections between memories of new information and knowledge you’ve learned today. New connections between brain cells form while you are sleeping, creating memories from your day.
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In order to reach the optimal number of cycles of memory-promoting deep sleep, your child should aim to get a full eight hours before the big exam. It is a good practice to urge your child to get a good night’s rest after an intense day of learning and studying, as that will help their brain to retain as much information as possible.
Choose their meals carefully – Dinner and breakfast the day before
Make your child something that they really like for dinner before the big PSLE Science exam the next day. Having their favorite food to eat will help them destress and relax, getting their mind off the exam and allowing them to take a small break.
However, stay away from overly oily or fatty foods, as they will cause your child to feel bloated and uncomfortable, the opposite of what we’re looking for! Also, be sure to make sure that the meal is filling, so they won’t go to bed hungry and unable to sleep.
For breakfast just before they head off to school to take their exam, make them a healthy breakfast, so they feel good when they head off afterward.
The Sleep Matters Club here says “A high-performance breakfast has a good source of protein for alertness (think eggs or Greek yogurt), whole grain carbohydrates for sustained mental energy (porridge is great), as well as fruit or vegetables for maximum brain power. Make a quick protein shake or smoothie if you’re pressed for time.”
Other breakfast ideas to get you thinking may include:
- Banana and Chia Seed Toast
- Savory Oatmeal with Egg
- Tomato Toast with Vegetables
- Warm Fruit Bowls
Get your child to remember to drink up
Many children, especially at that age, tend to get nervous and anxious and forget to drink up.
A way to combat this is to get them to take their water bottles everywhere they can with them so that the habit is ingrained into them. I find that many students taking PSLE forget their water bottles – and spend the whole exam very thirsty. To avoid this happening, remind your child on the day of the PSLE Science Exam itself to bring their bottle into the exam room, as once they are inside, they are barred from going back outside to fetch their water bottles.
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Dehydration can occur, and your child may not even know it. The rule of thumb is “If you can feel that you’re already thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” So, get your child to keep a water bottle at their night table or study desk, to remind them to drink from it regularly because it’s constantly in their line of sight. Taper this off as you get close to bedtime to decrease the likelihood of having to get up in the middle of the night.
Read topic summaries the teacher gives to your child
If your child’s teacher gives out study guides to the students, then start learning as much as possible on it yourself. Refer to their notes, handouts, quizzes, book, etc. when you’re unfamiliar with an item on the guide. Then, test your child on the harder parts of the Science topics they need to know. This will help motivate them, as your child will know that you’re also willing to work hard with them, and they will appreciate having their own study partner.
If your child does not have a study guide, then refer to their notes, handouts, quizzes, and book to look for things that may be on the exam. Teachers create exams from material already presented to their children in the class, so their class notes and previous homework are invaluable and should not be thrown away. Help your child organize their notes and homework into a need binder. Teach them creative ways of remembering things, such as memorizing the notes with the mnemonic devices.
Another good tip is to look at the last two pages of each chapter covered on the test and then test your child on the review questions in the books. Often, the review questions are put there to check understanding, which is perfect for some quick last-minute revision. Look at the first two pages of each chapter, and learn the basic information about each subtitle. Memorize quiz questions, and items handed to you in class.
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