We’re into term 4 of the academic year and just weeks away from the final year exams otherwise known as SA2! I would like to think I’m no kiasu mummy but when Sophie came home with the semester assessment timetable right after she returned from the term 3 break, I got all panicky.
You mean exams are happening this year for Primary 2?! And in 3 weeks?!
Sophie was nonchalant about it and coolly told me that I had to sign and acknowledged that she’s done her part and informed me about the upcoming exams. I honestly questioned who’s the one having exam fever here?
While tests are nothing uncommon for Sophie, year-end exams are quite another story. Though as parents, we harbour good intentions in making sure that our kids ace the exams, it’s my belief that our kids have to take responsibility in preparing for their exams instead of us spoonfeeding them what to do.
But since this is the first time that Sophie has to stretch herself to remember a years’ worth of learning, I decided to equip her with some tips to tackle her exam preparation for Primary 2.
Devising an exam revision plan
- Get the exam dates right
To help her devise a revision plan, I noted down all the exam dates on a calendar which I did using Microsoft Word.
To my amusement, Sophie only picked up on school holidays and public holiday in October, when she went, HURRAY, because #noschool. Looks like I gotta teach her a lesson on priorities.
Make sure that your child gets sufficient rest before the exams instead of doing last minute cramming to ensure that they are alert and clear-headed for the big day.
- Know what’s being tested
Besides knowing the chapters to study for, it’s also important to know the exam format, e.g. MCQs, open-ended comprehension, picture composition, etc and the marks allocated for each section.
That way, you can teach your child to allocate their time wisely and know when to skip to the next section if they find themselves stuck at the same question for too long.
I was surprised to find that oral is given a higher weightage than picture composition and listening comprehension, which means we don’t have to sweat so much over her English composition this year.
- Identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses
A smarter way to revise a year’s worth of learning is to identify areas that your child is weak in and dedicate more time at improving those shortcomings by doing more practice to ensure they grasp the concept.
For topics that your child is confident in, they can practice doing it faster and aim for zero errors.
- Inculcate a positive mindset
While exams may sound dreadful and be associated with stress, it’s important to help our kids see that exams are a way of assessing what they’ve learnt in the year. Reframe their minds and have them treat exams as a challenge where they get to outdo themselves and be better than before.
It’s essential that we ourselves as parents hold our tongue and not judge our kids by their grades, Unnecessary comparisons between them and their siblings, classmates, friends will only cause them to feel defeated and lousy about themselves.
- Setting of goals
Whenever Sophie comes home with her test papers, I’ll ask her if she did her best in the test, if she’s contented with her grades and if she wants to do better the next time.
These probing questions give her a sense of ownership towards her own learning and more importantly to get her to acknowledge that she’s doing her best for herself and no one else.
Heart preparation for parents
While it’s inevitable as parents to feel anxious for our kids as the exams draw near, I’m reminded that we have to trust that our kids have been well prepared by the teachers in school. Though we may see all their short-comings, think untidy handwriting, not labeling of answers, half completed answers for comprehension, let’s also remember to credit them for the improvements made over the year.
Even at work, we as adults like to be acknowledged for the good things we’ve done instead of being pointed out all the things we could have and should have done. Likewise, our kids need to hear that we see their efforts and it will spur them to do their best.
And most importantly, let’s always keep them anchored in the assurance that they are good enough. That regardless of their grades, they will always be the child that we love so dearly and it’s something that they will not have to measure up to.
Ultimately not all kids will fit the education system that we have, but what matters is that they tried their best and gave it their all and that will always be good enough.
Here are some other useful links on primary school learning that you may be keen to read too.
- Scoring in Primary Two English Composition
- Primary Two Diary – 30 minutes revision + recommended list of assessment books
- English Composition Writing for Primary One
- Teaching Writing to Lower Primary
- Resources for Chinese Oral (Part 1)
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