Surely, we all remember exam nerves. When a major test comes up, it can be hard to not be affected by it. However, with the pressure on children to attain, educationally, all the way up to and through university, the pressure can be too much and we should be taking steps to relieve it. As such, here are ways that you can help your child manage exam nerves while still aiming to do well.
Ensure the right environment at home
Creating a dedicated space where your child can study, making sure that others in the family are respectful of their need to study without distraction, and ensuring that they are comfortable and taking care of their needs when studying is crucial to create the best environment for studying. If they feel like they can’t study how they need to, then it’s only natural that your child is going to feel even more nervous about exams.
Find them some help
Some children are much better at self-directing study than others. If trying to do mock exams and reading over notes alone at home isn’t working for your child, then you might want to look into additional help. Private tutors aren’t the only option (as expensive as they are) as things like 11 Plus tuition courses can see your child join in groups with others to improve their studies. Studying alongside peers can remove some of the pressure that children find when studying alone.
Help maintain their perspective
Yes, exam results can be important, but it’s crucial to make sure your child knows that their future success is not going to be dictated by one exam. Make sure that they know of the existence of alternatives to passing their exams, even if it means having to re-sit them after taking some more time to study. The “do or die” narrative we attach to exams is a big part of what makes them so stressful.
Make sure they’re taking care of their health
It’s not uncommon for some children and teens to sacrifice aspects of their health that they shouldn’t in order to study more. Make sure that your child gets enough sleep, first and foremost, even if you need to use things like sleep timers to make sure they’re not staying up too late or getting out of bed too early. Making sure they eat a balanced diet is crucial, too.
Talk about it with them
If the exams are the elephant in the room, it’s time to talk about it. Don’t say anything that might add pressure, but encourage them to feel more comfortable about the day of exams. For instance, you can make sure you have a good morning routine together that will help them feel like the exam day is starting and feeling just like any other day.
Some exam nerves may very well be a part of life when there is a big test coming up. However, with the tips above, you can make sure that they don’t reach the boiling point.