How to prepare your child for an upcoming examination

23 September 2019

Be it PSLE, O levels, A levels or any other academic milestone, the thought of preparing for a national exam will likely send shivers up every student’s spine. Students (and parents) know that it isn’t enough just to pass these exams, but to excel in them in order to progress to the next level. However, parents can actually help make test preparation more bearable—and even fun.

Here are some tips on how to better prepare your child for an upcoming test.

Create a study plan

A study plan should start as early as 3 months before the exam. Information is absorbed much more effectively when taken in smaller, bite-sized portions over a longer period of time, rather than cramming everything at the last minute. Make your study plan part of your child’s daily routine.

To create an effective study plan, first list down all the subjects being tested, then break it down further into the tasks that need to be completed. These could include reading, practising, reviewing, mind mapping, etc. Next, prioritise the list based on your child’s needs. Allocate more time to the subjects that he or she is weak in, but do remember to strike a balance and not neglect any subjects.

Familiarise the child with the examination environment

Another tip to help with examination day jitters would be to replicate the environment your child will be taking the examination. At True Learning, our September holiday programme includes a series of sessions in which your child will attempt mock examination papers in a class setting to stimulate real examination conditions. Alternatively, you could purchase past examination papers, and have your child complete the papers in the stipulated time. This will help establish a sense of urgency in your child and help him or her learn to manage the time in the actual exam.

How to prepare your child for an upcoming examination

Practice tests

Practice tests may be time consuming, but they are extremely effective in helping to prepare students for exams. Here are some of the key benefits of doing practice tests.

Identifying problems and fixing them

Practice tests will help to identify questions or concepts that your child has trouble answering. This gives your child ample opportunity to address and correct these issues before the exam.

Preventing carelessness

Parents are all too familiar with their children’s getting marks deducted for careless mistakes in tests and exams. Practice tests give your child the opportunity to learn from his or her mistakes. After all, it’s much better to have marks deducted in a mock paper than in a real exam.

Identifying trick questions

Students can sometimes be thrown off by questions which are phrased in a confusing way, even though the solution may be straightforward. By exposing your child to a variety of questions, they get better at identifying the concepts that are being tested, and are less likely to be stumped during the examination.


By doing more practice papers, your child will be able to familiarise with the structure of the paper and answer questions in a prompt manner. Sometimes, they might even learn how to prioritise and strategise.

Question spotting

Whilst not guaranteed, doing more practice papers increase the likelihood that your child will be able to see similarities in the questions, and spot commonly tested concepts and topics.        

Engage the senses

Engaging the senses has been proven to be rather successful as a teaching method. Before doing that, however, you need to first find out your child’s learning style. There are generally 4 learning styles.

  • Visual learning - Do you find your child drawing pictures or diagrams as he or she studies for an examination? If so, your child may be a visual learner. Visual learners are those who process and retain information best when they can see it. Some learning tools would include drawing images and mind maps.
  • Aural learning - Your child picks up things by hearing and listening. Listening to podcasts or audio books might be helpful.
  • Verbal learner - Your child prefers using words, both in speech and writing. You could try to encourage your child to write notes or read things out loud.
  • Physical learner – Learns faster by physically touching and experimenting.

At True Learning, we adopt an active learning approach, where students engage in critical thinking and participate in class through guided discussions and other activities. Our lesson plans are constantly refined to engage, enrich and empower our students, allowing them to become confident and motivated learners.   

How to prepare your child for an upcoming examination

Preparatory classes or seek extra help if needed

If you feel that your child is severely behind class, or lacking the right motivation to study for the big day, there’s nothing wrong with seeking additional help. In fact, going for preparatory classes has many advantages. It puts the student in an environment with less distractions, and with other students working towards the same goal, your child will feel challenged and more motivated to achieve academic success.

At True Learning Centre, class sizes are capped at 10 to optimise learning. Our classrooms are thoughtfully designed and well-equipped to provide a conducive learning environment for our students. Each of our centres also has a pantry where our students could mingle over food and beverages before or after lessons.

We also extend beyond the classroom time to offer 24/7 academic assistance to our students, wherever they are. Our students could engage our help in their school work by texting or sending images of their questions to our support hotline.

If you are interested to enrol your child with us, feel free to call us at 6708 9382 or visit to learn more!

How to prepare your child for an upcoming examination