How to Encourage Teenagers to Study for Exams

Most teenagers want to succeed in terms of exams and will, particularly when encouraged to study for them.

Parents can be instrumental in encouraging teenagers to study for exams, as may other family members and friends. Teachers, mentors and tutors continually encourage teenagers to study for exams and often teach them appropriate and effective study methods like ‘key point’ note taking, or help them to learn definitions.

A professor can look around an examination room and immediately recognize teenagers who are on time, organized, prepared and ready to write examinations. Many teenagers appear to be motivated without a great deal of encouragement from others, but most teenagers need some degree of encouragement.

The question then becomes one of how to encourage teenagers to study for exams.

“Top study tips to motivate teens” suggests that organization is the key, but while organizational tips may prove beneficial, teenagers still have to take the initiative and responsibility when studying for exams.  

Consider the following suggestions, as well.  

Offer appropriate incentive to teenagers studying for exams.

For some students, just passing exams appears to be sufficient incentive, but additional incentives may motivate a teenager who does not appear to be interested, or willing to study for exams. Parents can offer incentives of different kinds including projects a teenager might enjoy, like going on a bicycle trip, for obtaining good marks. Some teenagers respond well to positive incentives, like new computer programs or games. Teenage girls may find motivation in a shopping trip in the future. Rewards usually work better than punishment.

Provide a quiet time and place for the teenager to study for exams.

Teenagers normally have many things going on in their lives and these may tend to take precedence to studying for exams, even though not studying may mean not passing. Providing a quiet time and place for the teenager to study, suggests to the teenager that studying for exams is important. Avoiding interruptions as much as possible, allows the teenager to concentrate on his or her examination material.

Set priorities with teenagers in terms of studying for exams.

While parents cannot always set the important priorities in terms of teenagers studying for exams, there are others who can. When teenagers know the priorities and expectations of their teachers, mentors and tutors, studying for exams becomes easier. At times, it is a good idea to have teenager talk to their teachers, mentors or tutors. A course curriculum is usually set out in such a way that teenagers know what material to study for exams. Allocation of marks in certain parts of course curriculums usually gives direction to teenagers. It helps them focus on what to study. Making additional resource material available for them may prove helpful.     

Recognize symptoms of fatigue, illness or burnout in teenagers studying for exams.

Parents, other family members and friends may recognize these kinds of symptoms in teenagers who are studying for exams; so will teachers, mentors and tutors. There are times, when a teenager may need more sleep or rest. A visit to a medical professional may be necessary, if a teenager appears ill.    

Avoid criticism, arguments and negative feedback.

Each teenager has to find his or her own way to study for exams and no degree of criticism, arguments or negative feedback will help. Teenagers learn differently and how they study for exams may differ, as well. Auditory learners often study differently than visual learners, when it comes to exams.

Discuss problems with teenagers who want to talk about feelings related to studying for exams.

Kindness, compassion and concern can go a long way in encouraging teenagers to study for exams. Every teenager needs to feel the support of parents, other family members and friends, as well as that of teachers, mentors or tutors. Offering comfort foods or appropriate drinks, at various intervals, may prove beneficial in that way and help teenagers to relax. At the same time, what they really need is time to study for exams, either alone or with friends.       

Unconditional love may be the best way to encourage teenagers to study for exams.