Blog Parents Parenting Tips What to Do When Your Child Do Badly in His Prelims

What to Do When Your Child Do Badly in His Prelims

Every parent wants their children to succeed in everything they do, especially in their exams. Their exams will be key to their academic success and to stay on track for the goals we have set for them.

However, if they fail their exams, parents feel a wide array of negative emotions which children easily pick up. Some parents even resort to actions which may traumatise the child to the point they will consciously try not to fail. This has led to increased suicide rate among the youths in Singapore.

However, this is not the way to go if we want our children to do well next time and not be pressured once their next exams come rolling forward.

Here are several things you should do when your child fails or does badly in their Prelims:

Do not lay the blame on the child

The first thing that you should do when your child does badly in their prelims is not blame them for it. Sometimes, parents tend to blame the child for their poor performance and uses the chance to point out every bad habit the child has as a way to blame the child for their failure.

Children don’t go to exams with an intention to fail. Children also need some me-time after a busy day in school. If you blame them for having some me-time or failing, you will only cause them to be ashamed of themselves and take your criticisms seriously. Remember, don’t helicopter around your child!

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Do not compare them to other students or children

If your child fails an exam, don’t compare them to other children because this will lower their self-esteem and affect their confidence. You want to build confidence in children and not destroy them.

Parents who compare their children to others tend to say they are ashamed of their child for constantly failing and disappointed in them for not being able to live up to their expectations.

Children who tend to be compared to other children may end up becoming depressed, having negative thoughts and start distancing themselves from her family like what we mentioned here. 

Do not hit them

Some parents take their children’s failures seriously to the point that they get mad at the child if they find out about their exam results. A few like this news report, will be so upset that they will beat the child until their anger fades away.

Children will respond to these beatings differently. If the child is young, they won’t immediately understand the consequences of failing their exams. But, they will see it as a traumatizing occurrence the more they get beat up for failing.

Meanwhile, older children will resent their parents and also get the idea that it is ok to hit someone if they make a mistake and becomes a bully.

Do give them the “try again” mentality

After all, prelims are usually meant to be harder than the actual national exams. Some parents underestimate the power of support when it comes to cheering their children after they fail in an activity or exams.

As a parent, you should always think about how much time your child dedicated for the exam and what methods did they use to prepare. Once you assess this, look for ways to help your child and speak to their tutor, if they have one, to try other study methods like these to prepare them in the exams.

You should also regularly tell your child that they must focus and that it’s ok to fail because they can recover from it by trying again.

Do help them develop better study habits

It is possible that your child’s study habits may have been the reason why they failed their exams.

It is also likely that studying too much only caused your child to burn out during their exams. Like adults, children must have a study-life balance to be able to perform well in all the activities they do. After a busy day in school, let them get a short break while at home and even give them healthy snacks like these before they do their studies to give them an extra boost.

You can also introduce a workable schedule to give your children an opportunity to learn self-discipline and promote a sense of security. If they do not have a consistent schedule at home, they won’t be able to handle their school work well. Their performance will also be inconsistent.

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Do get the fundamentals right

Your children will be able to handle any difficult exam question if they master the fundamentals.

Take time to check your child’s mistakes and see which ones they tend to make often. Find out why they are confused with these points and teach them how to understand the fundamental points. Be very patient when you teach them these points because there are kids who may need time to get the principles perfectly depending on their learning style.

A great way to teach fundamentals is by showing them practical examples with these free tests.

Do seek a professional tutor for help

If you don’t have time to look into your child’s studies or you are not sure which areas your child needs extra help in to score better in their next exams, don’t be afraid to ask a professional tutor to help your child out.

Tutors are trained to evaluate your child’s learning skills and determine which areas they need extra help with. They can also create personalised teaching programs to help your child develop the right techniques to answer questions they originally find difficult to answer before getting a tutor to help.


Remember, it is not the end of the world – it is just the prelims!

Failure is a part of life that helps us all learn how to stand up and do our best in the next opportunity. There are many reasons why it could happen and even those who are capable and talented experience experience failures every once in a while.

As parents, we shouldn’t be hard on our children when they do badly in their exams. Instead, we should sit down with them, get to the bottom of why they didn’t do well and let them know that you still love them. By letting them know that you believe in them will inspire your child to do better next time and reach out if they need help.

Here are some tips and tricks to help your child prep for their national exams:

Changes to National Exams in 2020: List of Topics Removed from PSLE, N Level, O Level and A Level
PSLE Maths Paper: ‘Tough’ PSLE Maths Questions & How to Prepare For It

Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.