Parents must follow an appropriate method to motivate and encourage their wards during the Board examination.

This is the one BIG question that lingers in every parents’ mind when their son/daughter prepares for an examination. In an anxiety to help their children, parents often inadvertently add to their mental stress. The fundamental duty of parents is to ensure that the child goes through the process of preparing for his/her exam in a planned and relaxed manner.

It is true that exam scores have an impact on the child’s future. But it is also true that high scores alone do not guarantee a successful career or life. In fact, with a myriad of new age careers that are evolving, there would be enough and more opportunities for students to be extremely successful in life. While the child should be made aware of the implication of low scores, parents need not be unduly nagging the child. It is extremely critical for parents to internalise this.

Every child is unique and has a unique set of skills and aptitudes. Hence, they need to create a wholesome nurturing environment at home rather than subjecting the child to undue duress. Ensure that the study room is well-lit, silent and airy. After all, the brain needs oxygen to be active and alert.

Prepare a schedule

As a first step, make a note of the exam schedule and put it up in a prominent place in your house. Sit with your child, create a study plan based on his areas of improvement, comfortable time zones, and school and tuition schedule. Make sure you create a schedule with his consensus and put it up in front of the study table with a column to note adherence or otherwise. Let there be sufficient break time between these schedules. Use different colour stars whenever a task is accomplished and a red cross mark whenever things are not complete. Also prepare a revised timeline to complete tasks. Identifying difficult lessons, critical chapters and taking out time for this is important. As you get closer to the exam dates, get your child to relax every evening. Encourage him to go for a walk or watch a 15-minute cartoon.

What is critical during the last few days before the exam are notes that come in handy for ready reference. You can help your child by collating important formulae and definitions, and by writing and putting them up near the study table. It is best to take photos of important points or pictures in your phone and allow the child to use it as a slide show during leisure.

Healthy food

Give your child lots of vegetables and fresh fruits, juice and lots of water. Make them snack on nuts and salads. Make sure your child does not skip a meal or overeat during these days. The brain needs lots of oxygen to be able to register information. Some kind of meditation, yoga or mental relaxation techniques will definitely help. Taking a few deep breaths is a good and easy method of relaxing. Apart from this, ensure that you duly encourage your child. Always use positive words and keep telling them that you understand that he has huge potential and you are extremely sure that he will do well.

The day before the exam is important. Give your child healthy food, help him keep his hall ticket, pens, pencils and other things at one place. Keep the unifrom ready. Ensure a good night's sleep. Ensure you avoid last minute panicking on the day of the exam. On the D-Day, give your children healthy breakfast; get them to stay away from books at least an hour before the exam. A good shower will help them feel fresh. Ensure that they reach the venue on time.

Encourage your child to take time to read the question paper thoroughly, plan the order in which to answer the questions, select numerical versus theory questions, and time the questions. It's always good for the children to start with the question they are most familiar with. Encourage them to write legibly and revise before handing over the answer sheets.

The author is CEO of MPower learning.