How to support your child during exam-time

May 2013
Supporting children with exam stress
Parents play an important role in supporting children through exam time

It's that time of year again and exam nerves are sweeping the country. Parents play an important role in supporting children through this stress-inducing time, both in the lead-up and on the exam day itself.

Here are some ways you can help your child with their revision:

  • Create a revision timetable together to reassure them that there is time to fit it all in. This will also help them to manage their time so they dedicate enough hours to each topic.

  • Provide nutritious and delicious foods which will give them the fuel they need, whilst also being a treat between revision sessions.

  • Ensure they have the incentive of doing an activity they enjoy once they have successfully completed a topic.

  • A motivating study environment will usually be quiet, clutter-free, bright and airy, but be conscious that every child learns in a slightly different way so flexibility may be key.

  • Continually provide support; encourage them and remind them they can only do their best.

  • Be conscious of the behaviour of their siblings. If a brother or sister has a tendency to wind them up the wrong way, it may be prudent to occupy them with other activities during this time.

Here are some tips for setting them up for success on the day:

  • Ensure they eat an hour or two before-hand. Bananas and porridge are foods often recommended to keep releasing fuel throughout the exam. It is also very important they enter the exam hall hydrated.

  • Keep calm and give them the space they need. Last-minute cramming may have worked for you but you need to let them prepare themselves in a way that works for them.

  • Be aware of the behaviour of siblings (again!). The drive to the exam hall should be kept as soothing as possible.

  • Remind them to read the questions thoroughly and to give consideration before throwing themselves into the answer.

  • Discourage them from sharing their answers after the exam as this may lead them to form incorrect conclusions about their performance.