Beating exam stress for kids
During exam time students’ anxiety levels start rising. Fear of failure can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as panic sets in and concentration is affected. Check out these 6 tips for helping your child beat exam-time anxiety.
1. Stick to a study plan. If your child has a lot of exams it’s important that they have a revision plan. Identify the weak subjects and tackle these first. Be sure to give your child plenty of time to revise in advance before panic mode sets in. Make the plan realistic – you will need to include time for breaks and sleeping! Also, it’s best not to leave everything to the last minute.
2. Go over past exams. Get copies of some past exam papers and try them out. This should give your child an idea of the exam format, i.e. types of questions that are going to come up. They can then clarify difficult questions in advance of the paper and be prepared to tacle similar questions come their turn.
3. Understand, not memorise. Subjects like mathematics and sciences need rigorous practice to make perfect. Regurgitation and rote-learning doesn’t work here. Check that your child knows key concepts and are able to apply essential formulae and theories.
4. Work smarter. Tell your child not to keep re-reading big chunks of text. Get a highlighter and pick out the key sentences they need to remember or understand and ask your child to make notes, i.e. to write out the main points in their own words.
5. Feed your child well. Make sure children do not skip breakfast in the mornings before school — they can’t concentrate on an empty stomach. Avoid junk food, especially food and drinks with high sugar content because these cause blood sugar levels to crash, resulting in jittery nerves.
6. Relax! This may be the most difficult thing to do with exams on the horizon. But ensure your kids get enough sleep and time to relax — they need to be well-rested and alert during the exam period. So schedule in some fun and downtime in between the heavy bouts with books.
What study methods do your kids use? Share with us in the comments below!
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