Exams, class tests and mocks can be stressful. For better or worse, they’re often a test of resilience as much as knowledge. Parents can help in a number of ways to manage their child’s exam stress.
It might not be easy – your child may “push back”. Explain that you want to help; perhaps show them this post. Hopefully you’ll find something useful here that you can work on together.
Remember that they are the expert on the subject, so you don’t need to be.
Often parents ask me how they can support their children in subjects like maths or biology if they themselves didn’t take them at school (or if they did, it was a long time ago). To provide support, you don’t need to be experts – your children already are. Instead, you can be their “spotter” – like a gym buddy! Ask them what they need to work on, what list of facts they need to know and surprise them with questions out of the blue. While you aren’t providing teaching, you are motivating and encouraging your child.
Help with time-keeping and list-making.
Students approaching exams often have a lot on their mind, so practicalities like organisation and time-management get pushed aside. Here, parents can help massively with their child’s exam stress.
Gently help them to create a working routine – ask which topics they feel they need to prioritise and help them to make a list. Keep referring back to this list (even if you don’t know anything about the topics yourself – this doesn’t matter!). If they are frustrated with a topic ask them if the issue is knowledge (“making it stick”) or understanding (do they “get it”?). Breaking topics down in this way helps your child to prioritise and manage issues. Sharing these lists is also a great way to work alongside teachers and tutors – it gives us something to focus on in the next tutoring session. Continue reading “Five practical ways to help your child with exam stress”