How can I help my child with revision?

You can't do the revision, but there is plenty you can to do to help your child to get organised, stay motivated and keep calm.


Getting Organised

1. Help your child to draw up a revision timetable. This should list dates, details of the subject and topics to revise and what they’d like to finish by when. The timeline can have a checklist, so tasks can be ticked off as your child goes along.

2. Make sure that their social life/job is not interfering with their studying. They need rest and sleep to make sure that their brains are active and open to learning.

3. Work with your child. Set goals you both think are realistic to achieve by a particular time. Ticks on the timetable will show success. Do try to keep up to date with how he/she's getting on.

4.  If certain goals are not met, don't be negative with your child - try to figure out together what went wrong and help him/her to get back on track.


Getting Motivated

Getting started on revision is tough for many people, but you can help your child get motivated. Praise and rewards work well. Use the revision timetable to plan out small rewards when a certain number of targets have been met. These might include watching a favourite TV programme, calling a friend or having an afternoon off.

Help your child to see beyond the revision. Remind her/him how rewarding it will be to know that they did their best. A bigger final reward, such as a pair of trainers, a holiday or a local visit somewhere exciting will give them something to look forward to when it's all over.


Staying Calm

As far as possible, try to make sure that revision time is quiet time in the house. A healthy diet and regular exercise are also especially important when your child is under pressure.

If your child is highly motivated, it's important to make sure that they don't overwork. Breaks are essential. Remind your child that even a short 15-20 minute break every 90 minutes will refresh their minds. Making a drink, playing some sport, listening to some music or watching a TV programme are all good ways to help relax before the next revision session.



Talk to your child about what the subjects and exams are about, what they should expect, what they feel confident/less confident about. Talking to you about their learning will help them to think about their learning needs. If they have any worries, encourage them to see their teacher, or you can contact the teacher concerned.

Studying in a group can be helpful too, although sometimes more chatting gets done than work! Children can pick up new ideas, talk about exam stress and help each other with areas they're finding difficult.

If your child is completely stuck on a topic, remember you can always contact the school. It is usually possible for your child to arrange a meeting with their teacher, who can offer a little extra help and advice.


Help your child to reduce stress

Stress is the body’s normal response to a challenge, threat or excitement. During revision and exams, anxiety and stress are common problems for pupils, even for those who appear confident and calm. While small stress levels can make pupils alert and focused, too much can reduce concentration and confidence.

Just being present is a great start to help your child reduce stress during revisions and exams. Here are some tips for managing stress.

  • Encourage your son or daughter to get enough sleep. Tiredness promotes anxiety.
  • Remind them to avoid large doses of caffeine - it can cause tension and anxiety.
  • Help them not to dwell on previous exams. This can also increase anxiety about later papers.
  • Encourage them to try relaxation exercises. They can reduce anxiety levels and cope with feelings of panic.