Exams can be a huge source of anxiety for many children and teenagers. Not only can this stress have a considerable affect on your child’s performance, it can also make exams emotionally overwhelming and, in extreme cases, cause panic attacks or worse. Here at Tutor Doctor we believe that knowing how to cope with exam stress is a key part of education. Here are some tips on how your child can overcome anxiety and get the grades they truly deserve!
One of the most effective ways to reduce stress and anxiety around exam season is for your child to keep an eye on their physical well-being. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and lots of sleep will keep students able to work harder, study longer, stay more alert and mretain as much information as possible. Make sure your kids avoid junk food and sugary drinks as these will just make them feel sluggish and tired. Instead opt for lots of fruit, vegetables and water. We guarantee it will make all the difference to stress levels when it comes to the big day!
Making sure your child is fully prepared for their exams with time to spare is the easiest way for them to overcome anxiety on the big day. Timetables for revisions and mapping out a schedule of what needs to be learnt and when by will be sure to make them feel prepared and on track. Practice papers are one of the best resources to use, especially when completed under timed circumstances, as they will give your child a better understanding of what to expect on the day. Be sure to read our blog post all about study habits of successful students to ensure your child studies smart.
Talk through any worries
Talking with your child a few days before their exam is a great way for them to air any concerns or worries. Chatting about what is stressing them out will clear their head and therefore reduce anxiety levels. You can also discuss ways for them to deal with certain aspects of the exam that might be worrying them or simply offer reassurance. A problem shared really is a problem halved!
Ready for anything!
The night before an exam, a great way to reduce your child’s anxiety is to make sure they are ready and raring to go. Small preparations like pre-packing their school bag, ensuring they have all the equipment and notes needed, as well as laying out a fresh uniform will help the morning run smoothly. It’s also important to make sure they don’t spend the whole night cramming as this will just increase stress levels and is unlikely to help anyway. Instead suggest a healthy hour or two of revision in the early evening and a few hours of relaxation before bedtime. This will set your child up to have a good night’s sleep, meaning they will feel revitalised and alert in the morning.
Finally.. Tips for the exam itself
During exams it’s important to try and stay as calm as possible- however that’s easier said than done! Below are some important steps that will combat high anxiety levels and ensure your child performs to the best of their ability.
- Before opening the exam paper take a few minutes to take some deep breaths and relax.
- Always look at how many sections or questions there are to complete and try to calculate roughly how much time should be spent on each.
- Use all the time given, that’s what it’s there for.
- Read all questions and instructions twice and carefully!
- If a question is tricky, move onto the next one and come back to it later.
- Never rush -- there’s no prize for finishing first.