Exams and stress can feel like they come hand in hand.. Nobody likes being put on the spot, and that’s exactly what exams do to us. It is even harder to deal with when you’re a child. Much of our school time is spent preparing for these situations, preparing to be tested. Hyde Tutoring’s team have come together to offer some advice on the best ways to prepare for, deal with, and even avoid exam-based stress.
Break your revision down into small chunks, and form a plan. “Planning and going in as prepared as possible are the most important thing you can do to increase your odds of achieving exam success,” Charlotte Hyde believes. Plus, once you've got a plan, you won't have any more panics at the start of the day about what to work on or fears that you won’t be able to revise everything before the exams.
Remember: you can only do your best. Rose Reade, one of tutors, suggests that we “make sure it's really clear that it doesn't matter if they do well or not, they just need to do their best and they will be rewarded just for taking the exam.” Exam success doesn't define you as a person. Everyone copes differently in different situations and there's so much more to your personality than how well you can respond to an exam. Keep things in perspective.
A balanced diet is vital for your child's health, and can help them to feel well during exam periods. Taking care of the body is really important in helping you feel well.
Drink lots of water. The brain suffers when it isn’t hydrated, you lose concentration and you will burn out easily.
Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours' sleep a night and 7- 12 year olds need up to 12 hours sleep a night!
Find ways to relax. Rebecca Buckham, one of our tutors, says: “ I do Brain Gym with many of my students as I find that breathing and stretching are good ways to increase oxygen to the brain. Some students find it hard to relax. Music can often be helpful and some of my older students listen to calming CDs through their headphones while revising for exams. “
Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit you far more than a few hours of panicky last-minute study.
Feeling anxious is normal, try to practise things before that you’ll be doing on the day, like timed papers, or silence when doing a past paper. It’s better to face those fears than to avoid them!
“Take breaks and do something fun! Taking breaks ensures you have opportunities to switch off, even if it is just for 15 minutes. This prevents stress and it also makes the time you spend working and revising more productive and more effective.” Charlotte Hyde says.
Rose also says: “I think it's really important to introduce timed conditions as early as possible so they get used to having a time limit. I often use a timer for some bits of work in my lessons.”