The exam period is nearly here, teenagers are facing their GCSE or A’Level exams, whilst in primary schools across the UK, children in Year 6 are preparing for their final primary school Standard Assessment Tests (SATs). It can be an emotional and nerve-wracking time for our children. In this post, we share with you some tips on how to help your child cope with exam stress.

This is a contributed post.

Exams can be a challenging and emotionally draining part of school life, but unfortunately, they cannot be avoided. Children who are stressed might struggle to sleep, seem irritable, and have a generally low mood. Sometimes this can even manifest as physical symptoms. With this in mind, parents should try their best to support their child during the exam period and reduce stress as best they can. Here are some top tips from a top sixth form college.

It is not uncommon for children to experience stress and anxiety during exam season due to the pressure of high expectations. Teachers and parents can help children prepare for their exams by providing them with opportunities to practice, support, and care.

Parents can help their children prepare for exams by following these steps:

  • Encourage your child to study hard and review what they have learned
  • Help your child set realistic goals
  • Encourage your child to take breaks when they need them
  • Help your child practice different test formats
  • Encourage your child to ask questions when they don’t understand something

Practical tips to help your child cope with exam stress

It’s all well and good setting their expectations and helping them manage their emotions, but here’s how you can practically help your child cope with exam stress too:

Provide a Listening Ear

Check in with your child from time to time and let them know that you are there for them to talk to should they need you. Remind them that if they are struggling in any way and don’t feel comfortable coming to you, they can always speak with their teachers.

If they do chat to you about any of their concerns, try not to be judgemental; show them that you are willing to listen and ask them what you can do to help. 

Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Habits

During the exam period, when stress levels are heightened, healthy lifestyle choices are more important than ever. With this in mind, make sure your child is eating well and getting enough sleep.

Most teenagers require around 8-10 hours’ sleep each night, so encourage them to get to bed at a reasonable time. Cramming in revision all night will not help them perform well the next day, it will just make them sluggish and unable to concentrate. 

Try to Be Flexible

During the exam period, your child might feel too tired to hang out as a family or complete their household chores. Try and be flexible when this happens, because punishing them for an untidy bedroom will only add to their stress. However, as with everything, strive to help them create a good balance.

You could alter the structure of their chores and assign them specific chores during their study breaks. Not only will it give them an excuse to take a break, but by giving them something physically demanding such as vacuuming, or washing the car, it will get them moving around rather than just slumped in a chair reading books. Try to get the balance right though.

Help Your Child Prepare a Study Schedule

Following a study schedule is a great way for your child to regain a sense of control in what can feel like a very uncertain time. Encourage them to think about which of their school subjects might require a little extra study time, and also make sure they factor in time for rest and socialization, and chores as I said above. 

Conclusion: Your Exams Won’t be as Hard as You Think If You Follow These Tips!

The tips that we have listed for you will help your child to be more confident in their exam, which, in turn, will also help them to do better on their exams. But the most important thing is that these tips are not just for exams; they are good for any situation where you need to take a test. There are many tests to take in our lives, from exams at school to your driving test, university exams, citizenship tests, and many others. Nailing the approach to exams early on is key. I hope these top tips to help your child cope with exam stress have been useful.