How Long Should Your Child Study Each Day?

By Andrew - Read time: 3 mins - 6th Mar 2018

Study Tips Parenting High School Life

Regardless of which exam your child is preparing for, supporting them as a parent has a significant impact on their grades. Although it's tempting to make them study for long periods, doing so isn't conducive to success. According to Cornell University, your child should spend no longer than two to six hours per day studying.

The younger they are, the shorter this period should be. For example, those preparing for their A.T.A.R should aim for two to four hours. While this may not appear as though they're maximising their time, understanding why efficacy is more important than length is essential for you to support them as a parent. Similarly, you can learn about introducing the right resources for success and why taking breaks is vital to propel their careers forward.

Focus on efficacy, not length

Before your child starts studying for his or her exams, you can find ways to make it more effective. For example, highlight the topics they struggle with the most, those that they find easy, and those that require little attention. When you help them create their study plan, make sure they allocate appropriate amounts of time to each topic, with the harder ones taking priority.

Other ways to make studying more effective include:

  • Using visual aids; visual aids such as flow charts and diagrams help your child identify gaps in their knowledge. Once they know what those gaps are, they can fill them through focusing on them.

  • Practice papers; Ask your child's school whether they have practice questions or previous papers to learn from. This helps them get into the exam mindset.

  • Eating a healthy diet; Exam time is the period where your child feels the temptation to snack on high-sugar foods and drink coffee. Unfortunately, both of these activities result in energy crashes, making studying less effective.

Use the right resources

From flashcards through to relevant textbooks, your child can't study with whatever is in their mind alone. Although lesson notes and teacher-allocated textbooks help, they, too, won't help them gain the deep breadth of knowledge they need to excel against their peers and reach a top percentile.

Learners of all ages often benefit from bouncing ideas off each other. Or, by explaining their theories to other students. Both activities help them fill gaps in their knowledge, allowing them to delve deeper into their curriculum.

As such, resources such as Thinkswap are ideal for unveiling hidden areas. Think Swap allows present students to access notes from others, as well as from those who have found success in the past. In addition to helping them fill knowledge gaps, it's ideal for gaining peer support. Studies reveal that peer support increases success rates and reduces stress, making resources such as Think Swap beneficial in more ways than one.

The importance of taking study breaks

While studying for two to six hours per day is great for scoring high grades, taking breaks is just as important. Try to think of your child's exam as a marathon. If they were running one, you wouldn't force them to prepare by practising the event each day.

Most young adults can focus for 45 minutes before needing a break. Said breaks only need to last five to ten minutes, but should take the child away from studying altogether. Ideally, they should spend some time outdoors, as Vitamin D reduces the risk of anxiety, which then makes studying simpler again.

Finally, don't forget to be there for them as a form of emotional support. Encourage them with positive words and allow them to take rest days if they seemed stress. With the right blend of preparation, resources, and rest, your child will find exam success


Andrew is a finance guru and has been working in the securitisation industry his whole life. He has a passion for travelling and playing and watching soccer. During his spare time Andrew loves spending time with friends and family.



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Read time: 3 mins