How to Prepare Your Child for External Exams

Final exam season is almost here for resilient Year 12 students, which means the start of external examinations. The nature of external examinations varies by state, but are now involved in almost every high school curriculum including ATAR, AST Scaling Test, QCS Tests, HSC Exams, and SACE.

Although the content of their exams vary, external exams are all set annually for our Year 12 students and marked externally by the authority for the test, rather than your child’s teacher. External exams are the same at every single school, administered under the same conditions, at the same time and on the same day and marked according to a commonly applied marking scheme. 

This type of examination can present some new challenges for your child and although every child will be different, here are some things you can do to help your child stress less and do better on their external examinations. 

1. Encourage your child to have a work-study balance

The foundation of a healthy study cycle for your child is the maintenance of a healthy body. The connection between the two is incredibly powerful, with balance resulting in extreme resilience; likewise, when they are out of balance with each other, your child may experience immense disharmony in their life.

To ensure your child prioritises self-care, help them put together a routine which may involve scheduling specific times for exercise, meals and downtime each day, and breaking up blocks of study time with short breaks.


2. Learn about the exam 

Even though your child will be the one taking the exam, it is good to know what material will be on the exam and how the exam will be structured. Knowing what your child will have to do will help you prepare them and discuss the exam with them before they go into the testing room. You can consult the testing website for any information you need, such as 

  • What is being tested?
  • How it is being marked?
  • What is the structure of the exam? 
  • How long is the exam?
  • What supplies will they need (pencils, calculators, etc.)?

3. Consider hiring an Academic Personal Trainer. 

 If you are concerned about your child doing well on external exams or want to give them extra support, all of our A Team Tuition Academic Personal Trainers are experts in external exam strategy. Many of our APT’s have taken these exams themselves, and  are trained on the strategies that must be in place to succeed depending on your child’s learning language.

4. Setting up a good study space

Your child’s study space should be a strategically designed study and work space that is designed to maximise focus, productivity, endurance and efficiency.  A poorly designed space leads to decreased productivity and increased procrastination due to a lack of focus and comfort. You should ensure your child has a designated study space that includes an organised filing system, good lighting, a clock and stationary.

5. Find a practice exam

All of our academic personal trainers have access to external exam resources, which include practice questions and mock exams. Although, if you do not current have a tutor, you should be able to easily locate practice exams. They can help your child learn not just what type of questions are on the exam, but how the exam is structured and formatted.