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Exam Stress

How to help your child cope with exam stress

It is month of March and the exam time of the year. The children and their families are getting ready for the exams. Many children would be appearing for the board exams, such as the 10thstd. or the 12thstd. exams, which are major milestones in their education and career. With the continuous rise in competition and the less availability of seats in good colleges, the stress factor plays a dominant role.

 

Children feel that their entire life is dependent on the exam results and so getting good marks is an absolute essential. Today, examinations are no more a positive challenge but have become the judgemental criteria for your future. All this has added to the already increasing stress in our children’s lives.

Today, let us look at some tips on how to  help your child cope with exam stress.

Look out for any exam stress.

Almost all children will feel a little anxious and stressed out before their exams. This is natural and normal. But if there are severe signs of not getting proper sleep, loss of appetite, headaches, stomach pain, nausea etc., then it needs more deeper attention.

Talk to your child and calm their fears. Fear is the root cause of these symptoms. If you calm and support them with encouraging words, they will soon feel better. Assure them that exams are just one part of their life and there is much more to life than exams.

Share your childhood experiences of people and friends who have not done well in their academics but have done exceedingly well in their chosen field. Comforting and supporting them is the key to help them tide over their fears. Also, you need to reassure them of the hard work that they have put in during the entire year in studying a particular subject, which will help them in achieving good marks.

Children Studying, Book, Reading, Read, Culture

Getting a good sleep is an absolute essential.

It is absolutely essential to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep. Also encourage them to relax and take breaks in between their study time. Do not allow them to study the entire night, with only a few hours of sleep before the exam. This will lead to severe fatigue and tiredness. Children will lose their focus and their ability to remember, if they are too tired before the exams.

Good Nutritious food plays an important role.

Give them healthy food comprising of fresh fruits, vegetables, soups and juices. Avoid high fat, sugary, oily foods, aerated drinks and caffeine. Do not stress the digestive system and give them nutritious foods which are light on the stomach.

Give your child that extra last minute help to revise.

Your child will always appreciate any help that you can provide, to help them revise. It can be helping them understand some tough topics or revising again the answers or just sitting next to them when they are revising.

It will boost their morale and they will be more positive and confident while giving their exams.

Ensure that your time schedule is flexible.

Parents need to have a flexible time schedule which will keep their children’s exams on top priority. Ensure that you do not have unnecessary distractions at home such as relatives visiting you, parties, cleaning of the house etc.

Keep the exam time free of all possible distractions, so that your child can focus and concentrate on their exams. Also try to be as calm and composed during these times and avoid getting stressed, as exams will always come to an end in due course of time.

Encourage your child to take short breaks.

Exam time does not mean that you have to continuously study for 12 to 15 hours a day. Encourage your children to go for a quick walk in the park or listen to soothing music or go for cycling, swimming etc.

Avoid scrutiny of the exam papers which have not gone well.

Avoid scrutinising papers, especially if they were difficult. Also avoid criticising your child for their mistakes. Help them to learn from their mistakes, so that they will not commit them again. All you need to do is listen to them and support them.

Encourage them to move on and prepare for the next test, rather than dwelling on past mistakes that cannot be changed.

Motivate them with a treat after the exams.

Help them to stay focussed and hardworking during the exams. You can motivate them by assuring them of a good meal or a movie after the exams. This will motivate them to give their best and they will look forward to celebrating after the exams.

Children should prepare for their exams by doing the following –

  • Study well in advance and revise many times to gain confidence.
  • Try to understand the concepts rather than plain mugging.
  • Always speak positively for e.g. I can do it, I am prepared for my exams etc.
  • Ensure that you reach your exam centre well in time, so that you are relaxed before the exam.
  • Ensure that you have all your accessories such as your hall tickets, pens, pencils, geometry box and other things with you before the exam.
  • Adhere to your study timetable inorder to be most effective.

Lastly, make your child feel secure that exams are just one part of their life. No matter whatever be the outcome of the exams, you still love them and accept them. This will allay their anxiety and fears, as they feel that the exam results will play a key role in their acceptability. Reassure them that you love them just the way they are.

Please read our earlier article Top study tips from a teacher
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