As we approach the exam season, it’s natural for students to feel anxious and perhaps, overwhelmed. Especially GCSE students who are facing these formal exams for the first time. Coping with exam pressure can be a challenge, but there are strategies that can be used to help manage stress and anxiety.
This blog is not going to look at ‘how to revise’ as, by now, your child will most likely be finding their way. However, if your child is struggling to focus, it’s not too late to get some helpful advice from my free guide to successful revision. https://www.connective-learning.co.uk/free-guide-5-steps-to-revision-success. It will provide you with insight into how your child may prefer to learn and the tools that they can use to help aid their revision. Some may prefer movies or audio books to help embed the learning, whilst others prefer textbooks, graphs and data. Active learning techniques include summarising, creating flashcards, and teaching the material to someone else. These techniques may help your child retain the information more effectively. Encourage them to explore what they are naturally drawn to.
Here are some tips to help your teenagers cope with exam pressure.
Eat well: During this period, it’s even more important to provide your child with regular, nutritious meals. Eating the right foods can help the brain to be more focused for longer. Protein-rich foods like nuts, dried fruits, eggs, and yogurt have been proven to improve memory retention, mental alertness, and increase energy levels. It’s advisable to avoid sugars and caffeine, which only provide short bursts of energy.
Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. They should be aiming to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to help them feel rested and refreshed. Note that their preferred sleeping patterns may be different to yours so allow them to sleep/study at their peak times.
Stay active: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve their mood. Encourage them to incorporate some physical activity into their daily routine, even if it’s just a short walk or some stretching. Why not find an activity that you can join in with them too.
Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are used in many other life stages to manage stress and anxiety. These techniques can help your child stay calm and centred during the exam season and even during the exam itself. Why not do it with them too? You can reap the benefits of these techniques together and reap the benefit of bonding with them during this period in their life.
Plan breaks from the revision: It’s important for your teenager to take breaks throughout the day when they are revising. It gives their brain a rest and allows it to process the information they have taken in. Taking breaks can help them stay focused and improve their overall productivity. It is also advisable to plan some days off too. Maybe organise fun activities to relieve the pressure that they are feeling.
Remember, exam season can be tough and it’s important to prioritise mental health and well-being. By encouraging them to use these strategies, you can help them manage stress and anxiety and get them to perform their best on the days of their exams. Good luck!