Watching your son or daughter struggling through a difficult class or worry about a big test, might leave you feeling helpless. While Mom and Dad can’t exactly go to school and take the exam in their child’s place, parents that establish strong study habits at home will set up their children for success in school. Here’s how to help your child study for exams:

1. Create a study space and eliminate distractions

Studies repeatedly show that television is a distraction to students completing assignments, and it’s best to set a strict house rule: study time is “no TV” time. Eliminating TV distraction while studying will help your child increase their study productivity throughout their entire academic career.

2. Explain the difference between studying and homework

There is a fundamental difference between completing homework and studying, and it is important for your child to understand the difference. Completing their homework does not mean your child has studied for their exam. Encourage your child to study by:

    • Taking notes during the reading
    • Learn to skim material
    • Learn to comprehend reading material and summarize the information
    • Rewrite notes for longer review
    • Make flashcards for quick review

3. Encourage your child to organize their study and homework projects on a planner

Time management is a critical study skill that your child needs to master in their younger years. The ability to plan study and homework time ahead of due dates and exams will help your child to succeed in all their future endeavors. Encourage your child to study over multiple days, not the night before the exam. This is guaranteed to increase comprehension and memorization of the study material.

4. Develop critical note-taking skills

Many students will feel they have to write down every word the teacher says in a lecture, which can be an ineffective way of notetaking. Teach your child to adopt an outline form of note-taking, focusing on important key ideas. Utilize abbreviations to jot down more information quicker.

5. Help your child feel confident in their ability

Test-taking is a difficult experience for many students, so help your child feel confident in their test-taking ability. Encourage them to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam; studying the night before rarely works, and will do more harm than good mentally. Remind your child to relax during the exam, take a deep breath and read all the directions and questions carefully. Remind them that they studied hard, they understand the material, and they are going to ace this exam!

If you’re looking for more tips and fun academic research tools, check out some of these sites: