Whether it’s a case of sweaty palms or a debilitating panic attack, exams can cause stress and anxiety that could affect your child’s performance. Learning to cope with exam stress is important given that grades can determine future prospects.
Here are some tips on how to overcome exam anxiety:
Studying and adequately preparing are the best ways to ensure that your child feels ready to take on the challenges of an exam. However, you may need to add an additional layer of preparedness for those with high-anxiety.
Practice exams are a great resource to use - ask your teacher or tutor for exams/tests from previous years. Work through them so that your child has a better understanding of what to expect on exam day.
It's also a great idea to talk about test day and walk your child through each step of the process beforehand: What will they do when they get to school? Who will they talk to and how will they feel when they start the test? Knowing what to expect can make it easier to cope with the anticipated task.
In many cases - friends and peers are writing the same test. Speaking with these individuals before an exam may only spike anxiety levels. A solution may be heading outside before an exam to get some fresh air and exercise.
If your child always leaves studying to the last minute, getting an in-home tutor might help them learn better executive skills. When a student learns organization, time management and task initiation, they are more likely to plan out their studying properly as well as motivate themselves to do the work.
Tutors have the ability to go back and find any gaps in your child’s knowledge, help with exam preparation and build-up their confidence in an effort to reduce stress and improve exam performance.
The best relief for stress is a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep. Students tend to comfort eat while studying, consuming large amounts of junk food and sugar - Try opting for healthy foods and water instead.
Also, it's a good idea to avoid late night cramming at all costs. When you're tired, the brain is less likely to retain information - a lack of sleep can severely impact your child’s performance on exam day.
The night before an exam, it's a great idea to have your outfit ready and your school bag packed with everything required for the exam. Limiting the amount of tasks you have to complete reduces stress and helps start your day off smoothly.
Humor, deep breathing and listening to upbeat music on the way to the exam are also great stress relieving tactics for many. Regardless, staying positive and being encouraging will help you and your child through exams.