exam stress1

How Can I Help My Child With Exam Stress?

(Last Updated On: February 21, 2024)
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    Are you worried about your child's forthcoming exams? You have company.

    Many parents worry they don't know what to do to ease their children's anxiety over upcoming tests.

    For both students and their primary carers, the stress of test and exam administration is a common part of the school year.

    Stress can have negative consequences, but there are ways to mitigate them.

    The good news is that you each have some options available to help ease the burden on the other.

    Here, we'll discuss some methods that have helped us deal with the pressure of forthcoming tests while still performing well.

    Also, we'll go through several ways you may make the home a more conducive place for your child to learn.

    If you want to learn more, keep reading.

    Feeling the pressure of your VCE exams? You can find a variety of highly skilled tutors at Dr. Study who will boost your self-esteem and prepare you to tackle your tests with ease.

    exam stress3

    Help Your Child in Overcoming Exam Anxiety

    Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Stress

    Stressed children and teenagers may suffer from anxiety that manifests as tension, headaches, stomachaches, inability to sleep, and irritability.

    Feeling down and depressed, losing interest in eating, or eating more than normal, not enjoying the same activities once enjoyed, and having a poor outlook on life are all symptoms of depression.

    Having a colleague to talk about your work with might be really helpful.

    In addition, kids and teens could use the guidance of an adult, a tutor, or a study buddy to talk through their problems and gain perspective.

    To help your child cope, please urge him or her to talk to a friendly adult at school. Talking to your child's teachers if you're worried about how they're doing school could help.

    If at all possible, try to have your kid take part in all the decisions being made.

    You Should Make Sure Your Kid Is Eating Well

    A well-rounded diet is important for your child's health and can ease their anxiety over upcoming exams.

    Some parents blame their children's hyperactivity, irritability, and mood swings on their habit of feeding them high-caffeine, high-fat, and high-sugar meals and drinks including energy chips, cola, candies, chocolate, drinks, and burgers.

    While grocery shopping, try to include your child as much as possible and encourage them to make healthy choices.

    Help Your Child Obtain a Good Night’s Rest

    Research shows that getting enough sleep might boost cognitive performance.

    Teens often require eight to 10 hours of sleep every night. Learn more about what scientific evidence says about how much sleep kids need.

    Give your kid some downtime before bed, whether it's watching TV, using the computer, or doing homework, and they'll be much more likely to have a pleasant night's sleep.

    To study all night before a big test is usually not a good idea.

    Getting a good night's sleep will do more for your child's academic performance than last-minute cramming will.

    Successful academic performance, especially during examinations, depends on getting enough sleep.

    Unfortunately, studies reveal that nearly all test-taking children keep their electronic gadgets in bed with them.

    When teenagers devote most of their evening to studying, they will often want to check up on social media before bed, and this might cut hours from their sleep time, resulting in them being too exhausted right before their examinations.

    As a result, it is recommended that students either refrain from using electronics in their bedrooms on exam days or otherwise disable their internet access before sleeping for the night.

    Maintain a Flexible Attitude During Exams

    Make an effort to be as adaptable as you can right before exams.

    For instance, if your child has to put in a full day of studying, you shouldn't stress out over unfinished homework or a cluttered room.

    Trying to maintain one's composure can prove useful. This phase of testing will eventually come to an end.

    Give Them a Hand with Their Study

    Provide a calm, focused environment where your child may learn. Follow up by asking how you can be of help to them.

    Let them come up with specific strategies to aid in their studying, such as creating a revision timetable or locating old tests for the aim of practising with them.

    Your child will be more motivated to study and do well on upcoming tests if you help them connect those studies and their long-term aspirations.

    Express Your Concerns About the Exam

    Reassure your child that worries are natural and to be expected. It's only natural for people to feel nervous or uneasy before an exam. The key is to find positive outlets for this nervous energy.

    If your child is feeling anxious before taking the exam, you can support them by encouraging them to practise the tasks they will be doing on the day of the exam. As a result, it won't appear quite as terrifying.

    One way to achieve this is to familiarise oneself with the testing environment in advance by, for example, practising questions in the same setting as the actual exam. Again, the faculty and staff of the school should be able to help out here.

    Help your child overcome their anxieties and enjoy life by encouraging them to try things they're frightened of and then helping them succeed.

    You can make them feel better about themselves by prompting them to reflect on what they already know and how much time they have put into studying.

    During This Time of Exams, Students Should Be Encouraged to Stay Active

    Clearing one's head through exercise is a great way to reduce mental and emotional clutter, which in turn helps one feel less overwhelmed and more energised.

    Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and even football are all beneficial types of exercise for your child.

    Participating in activities that entail talking to other people might be extremely helpful.

    Don’t Make Things Any More Stressful Than They Already Are

    The majority of the children who reach out to the counselling service Childline attribute the majority of the pressure on their family members when it comes to exam time.

    As a parent, it's important to listen to your kid, encourage them, and avoid criticising anything they say.

    Your child should be encouraged to share a debriefing with you about what was learnt after each test. Talk about what went well rather than dwelling on the difficult questions.

    Tell your child to stop worrying about the past and start focusing on the future by encouraging them to go on to the next test and give it their all.

    Younger people have less life experience, therefore they may not know how to handle or properly communicate their stress. This can make it hard for kids to handle or communicate their anxiety.

    Because of this, it is crucial that you, as a parent, learn to identify the warning signals that your child is under undue stress.

    Parents should make an effort to prevent adding unnecessary stress to their children's life by setting realistic expectations for their children. Your kids will thrive with your support and reassurance.

    It's natural for kids to be anxious, but you can help them out by showing them how to keep their cool and pay attention even when they're feeling stressed.

    Do you want to improve your chances of passing the IELTS?

    Dr. Study's task-based language instruction and dynamic assessment methods provide students with real-world IELTS exercises that foster critical thinking and individual initiative.

    Your Kid Should Be Rewarded

    Talk to your kid about some good incentives to encourage them to study and pass all of their tests.

    There is no requirement for the benefits to be large or expensive.

    They don't have to be complicated — just doing something they enjoy, like cooking their favourite meal or watching their favourite TV, can make their day.

    Your child deserves your help in preparing an end-of-exams award as soon as the exams are over.

    When To Get Help

    For some students, the end of finals is a huge relief, but this is not the case for all students.

    Getting professional help is recommended if your child's anxiety or depression is severe, ongoing, and having a significant impact on their day-to-day functioning.

    Once again, seeing your primary care doctor should be your first step.

    Let Them Take a Chore Break

    It can be good to release your adolescent from some of their obligations around the house when they are in the midst of studying for a major test.

    This includes, but is not limited to, not requiring them to complete their share of household duties.

    They'll appreciate it not only because it gives them more time to study or unwind, but also because you're thinking about their well-being.

    Provide Them With Help in Arranging a Study Area

    Each parent who works from home knows the feeling of unease that comes with a change in routine.

    Please keep in mind the plight of those students who are attempting to learn but who are unable to do so because they lack access to traditional educational facilities such as classrooms, libraries, and computer labs.

    If your adolescent is feeling overwhelmed, you may help them regain a sense of mastery by setting up a quiet study room in your home.

    Motivate Them to Take Charge of the Area’s Ambience and Design in Their Own Way

    When people feel like they have some control over the space where they work, they are more likely to be productive there.

    Talk to Them About Their Plans For After Examinations

    Talking about the future, especially in these uncertain times, can be difficult, but it's likely that your adolescent is more worried about what comes next than you are.

    Uncertainty can be reduced by broaching the subject and having a discourse about what might happen next.

    If your adolescent realises they have your unwavering backing, they will worry less about the future.

    Try to Stick to a Regular Schedule for When You Go to Bed and When You Wake Up

    Encouraging your child to keep to a normal sleep routine will pay big dividends not only for them but for the whole family, even if the days coming up to examinations are generally packed with cramming at the last minute (and staying up late to do it).

    A teenager's stress levels will rise quickly if their sleep schedule is continuously interrupted.

    Everyone at home is in for some unpleasant news, and it doesn't help that a major test is coming up soon.

    If you're having problems convincing your adolescent to stick to a regular sleep pattern, pointing out the benefits of having a restful night's sleep might help. 

    Go Walks and Make Some Delicious Meals in Between Studying

    Students often view distraction as a negative trait when it comes to studying for exams, but with everything going on in the world, it's important to step away from studying every once in a while.

    You and your adolescent may take advantage of the break by going for a walk outside in the fresh air, or you could choose a recipe and have a lockdown cooking competition in the comfort of your own home.

    Let Them to Speak Their Minds

    It's true that releasing pent-up frustration is sometimes the best method of dealing with stress.

    Offer to be a listening ear if your teenager has been cooped up with homework and needs to vent.

    To avoid interrupting someone who is "on a roll" and needs to get everything out, it's best not to provide ideas or advise.

    Just keep smiling and nodding and take in the show! When all is said and done, there is a strong probability that you and your child will feel better.

    Encourage People at Regular Intervals to Take Breaks

    Most parents forbid their children from engaging in distracting activities like watching television, using cell phones, playing video games, or socialising with friends in the days leading up to exams.

    It's important to remember that a child also needs time for play and socialising.

    Long durations of studying and test-taking will have a negative impact on your children's ability to pay attention, retain knowledge, and perform well under pressure.

    Instead, we suggest you work with your child to create a schedule and stick to it religiously.

    Always give your child time to play and do other enjoyable things to help them unwind, release tension, and refuel.

    Guide Them Arrange a Study Schedule That Works Best for Them

    Do not create a routine for your child and then expect them to follow it religiously.

    Instead, you should allow your kids to set their own routine and help them out or organise their day anyway they see fit.

    When pressure is placed from without, as in the form of rules and regulations, that pressure will only increase.

    Your child will have a harder time sticking to a routine if it doesn't seem natural or isn't a good fit for their personalities.

    You should instead give your child the freedom to pick their own study hours and review their notes whenever they feel like it.

    If you really care about them, all you need to do is watch what they do and correct them only when you absolutely have to.

    If at All Possible, You Should Avoid the Exam Dissection

    Most kids aren't afraid of taking the test itself, but they are terrified of the results. Especially if they did poorly on a test in a topic they previously knew they struggled with, test results might leave some students feeling dejected and discouraged.

    A child's mind can be flooded with queries after reading the paper "What if my response to the preceding enquiry was incorrect?

    What if my paper doesn't turn out well?"

    As parents, we must guard against being too ready to judge our kids when they show signs of low self-esteem.

    Reassure them that their concerns are unwarranted because everything is being handled properly.

    It's better to help them relax and be ready for the next task than to dwell on mistakes they can't fix.

    Learn to Appreciate Your Child’s Abilities While Also Understanding Their Challenges

    It's true that everyone has special skills. Some struggle with Math but do well in Language and Humanities courses.

    Help your child figure out what they're good at, and what they need more work on, so you can tailor their study sessions to their individual needs.

    Parents should make an effort to understand their child's talents and should be careful not to create unrealistic expectations; a mediocre student cannot suddenly become a great performer.

    Create goals that you can actually achieve. Doing so will prevent both of you from being let down in the future.

    Maintain Your Calmness

    The alternative is to learn to mimic composure until you achieve it if you truly cannot keep your cool.

    Very simply, "if you stress out, stress out much more."

    As a result, it's crucial that you keep your worries to yourself as much as possible and, if you need to, talk about them with your spouse or another parent who is going through something similar.

    However, it's important to reassure your graduating seniors that there are likely alternative routes into their intended field of study and that delaying their education by a year or two won't have much of an impact on their future prospects.

    Implement Some Form of Parental Control App on Their Gadgets

    As it turns out, about half of all secondary school students find using electronic devices during exam periods to be distracting.

    If you implement parental controls, they will be less likely to fight while they are studying for exams.

    If there was ever a time for that, it's now.

    Parents can protect their children from potential distractions by installing software like Apple's Family Zone on their children's devices.

    exam stress2

    Mistakes to Avoid as a Parent

    Just try to calm down and relax. Your child will pick up on your stress and feel even more anxious as a result.

    You should not evaluate your child in relation to other children, and you should not allow the activities or behaviours of other people's children to divert your attention from your own.

    You should monitor your child's academic progress, but you shouldn't hover over them.

    Let them figure things out on their own and develop their own plans.

    There should not be a requirement for your youngster to conduct a post-mortem after each and every test segment.

    Also, do what you can to prevent them from discussing specific problems and their solutions with other students in the class.

    Preparing for tomorrow's exams should be a top priority.

    Parental counselling is important, but if you're feeling overwhelmed by exam anxiety, there are professional helplines you may call.

    Avoid hanging out with people who only bring up negative examples of how exams went wrong. Keep your mind on the bright side rather than dwelling on the negatives.

    Dr. Study  tutoring programs have been shown to help pupils perform to their maximum potential, and we really hope that your child will benefit from them. You can put your trust in us because we've already helped over 30,000 satisfied pupils.

    Conclusion

    Stress can have negative consequences, but there are ways to mitigate it.

    To help, parents should keep an eye out for signs of stress, talk to a friendly adult at school, have their child take part in all decisions, and make sure they are eating a well-rounded diet.

    Additionally, they should include their child as much as possible and encourage them to learn.

    Teens often require eight to 10 hours of sleep every night, so it is important to give them some downtime before bed. Getting a good night's sleep will do more for their academic performance than last-minute cramming.

    It is also important to refrain from using electronics in their bedrooms on exam days, maintain a flexible attitude, express concerns about the exam, and find positive outlets for nervous energy.

    The most important details are that students should familiarise themselves with the testing environment in advance, stay active, and don't make things any more stressful than they already are.

    Parents should listen to their children, encourage them, and avoid criticising anything they say.

    They should also encourage their child to share a debriefing with them about what was learnt after each test, and to stop worrying about the past and focus on the future.

    Finally, parents should set realistic expectations for their children and show them how to keep their cool and pay attention even when they're feeling stressed.

    Study's task-based language instruction and dynamic assessment methods provide students with real-world IELTS exercises that foster critical thinking and individual initiative.

    Parents should talk to their kids about incentives to encourage them to study and pass all of their tests, let them take a chore break, promote outside-of-class participation, provide them with help in arranging a study area, and help them if they are feeling overwhelmed.

    Motivate them to take charge of the area's ambience and design in their own way, talk to them about their plans for after exams, try to stick to a regular schedule for when you go to bed and when you wake up, have breakfast together as a family every day at the same time, go for walks and make some delicious meals in between studying, let them speak their minds, and offer to be a listening ear if they need to vent.

    The most important details are to avoid interrupting someone who is on a roll, encourage people at regular intervals to take breaks, guide children to create a study schedule that works best for them, and avoid the exam dissection.

    It is important to remember that children need time for play and socialising in the days leading up to exams, and that long durations of studying and test-taking can have a negative impact on their ability to pay attention, retain knowledge, and perform well under pressure.

    It is also important to give children the freedom to pick their own study hours and review their notes whenever they feel like it, and to watch what they do and correct them only when necessary.

    Parents should be mindful of their children's self-esteem and help them relax and be ready for the next task.

    They should appreciate their child's abilities while also understanding their challenges. They should maintain their calmness and keep their worries to themselves.

    They should also reassure their graduating seniors that there are likely alternative routes into their intended field of study and implement some form of parental control app on their gadgets. 

    Parents should implement parental controls to protect their children from potential distractions during exam periods.

    They should also try to calm down and relax, monitor their child's academic progress, and avoid hanging out with people who only bring up negative examples of exams.

    Parental counselling is important, and study tutoring programs have been shown to help pupils perform to their maximum potential.

    Content Summary

    • Many parents worry they don't know what to do to ease their children's anxiety over upcoming tests.
    • For both students and their primary carers, the stress of test and exam administration is a common part of the school year.
    • The good news is that you each have some options available to help ease the burden on the other.
    • Here, we'll discuss some methods that have helped us deal with the pressure of forthcoming tests while still performing well.
    • Also, we'll go through several ways you may make the home a more conducive place for your child to learn.
    • To help your child cope, please urge him or her to talk to a friendly adult at school.
    • Talking to your child's teachers if you're worried about how they're doing school could help.
    • A well-rounded diet is important for your child's health and can ease their anxiety over upcoming exams.
    • Teens often require eight to 10 hours of sleep every night.
    • Give your kid some downtime before bed, whether it's watching TV, using the computer, or doing homework, and they'll be much more likely to have a pleasant night's sleep.
    • Getting a good night's sleep will do more for your child's academic performance than last-minute cramming will.
    • Successful academic performance, especially during examination periods, depends on getting enough sleep.
    • Make an effort to be as adaptable as you can right before exams.
    • Provide a calm, focused environment where your child may learn.
    • Reassure your child that worries are natural and to be expected.
    • One way to achieve this is to familiarise oneself with the testing environment in advance by, for example, practising questions in the same setting as the actual exam.
    • Help your child overcome their anxieties and enjoy life by encouraging them to try things they're frightened of and then helping them succeed.
    • Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and even football are all beneficial types of exercise for your child.
    • Tell your child to stop worrying about the past and start focusing on the future by encouraging them to go on to the next test and give it their all.
    • Because of this, it is crucial that you, as a parent, learn to identify the warning signals that your child is under undue stress.
    • Parents should make an effort to prevent adding unnecessary stress to their children's life by setting realistic expectations for their children.
    • It's natural for kids to be anxious, but you can help them out by showing them how to keep their cool and pay attention even when they're feeling stressed.
    • Talk to your kid about some good incentives to encourage them to study and pass all of their tests.
    • Your child deserves your help in preparing an end-of-exams award as soon as the exams are over.
    • It can be good to release your adolescent from some of their obligations around the house when they are in the midst of studying for a major test.
    • They'll appreciate it not only because it gives them more time to study or unwind, but also because you're thinking about their well-being.
    • Get your kid up from their workstations and involved in their regular activities.
    • Talking about the future, especially in these uncertain times, can be difficult, but it's likely that your adolescent is more worried about what comes next than you are.
    • If your adolescent realises they have your unwavering backing, they will worry less about the future.
    • Encouraging your child to keep to a normal sleep routine will pay big dividends not only for them but for the whole family, even if the days coming up to examinations are generally packed with cramming at the last minute (and staying up late to do it).
    • A teenager's stress levels will rise quickly if their sleep schedule is continuously interrupted.
    • If you're having problems convincing your adolescent to stick to a regular sleep pattern, pointing out the benefits of having a restful night's sleep might help.
    • Students often view distraction as a negative trait when it comes to studying for exams, but with everything going on in the world, it's important to step away from studying every once in a while.
    • It's true that releasing pent-up frustration is sometimes the best method of dealing with stress.
    • Offer to be a listening ear if your teenager has been cooped up with homework and needs to vent.
    • It's important to remember that a child also needs time for play and socialising.
    • Long durations of studying and test-taking will have a negative impact on your children's ability to pay attention, retain knowledge, and perform well under pressure.
    • Instead, we suggest you work with your child to create a schedule and stick to it religiously.
    • Do not create a routine for your child and then expect them to follow it religiously.
    • Instead, you should allow your kids to set their own routine and help them out or organise their day anyway they see fit.
    • You should instead give your child the freedom to pick their own study hours and review their notes whenever they feel like it.
    • As parents, we must guard against being too ready to judge our kids when they show signs of low self-esteem.
    • Reassure them that their concerns are unwarranted because everything is being handled properly.
    • It's true that everyone has special skills. Help your child figure out what they're good at, and what they need more work on, so you can tailor their study sessions to their individual needs.
    • Parents should make an effort to understand their child's talents and should be careful not to create unrealistic expectations; a mediocre student cannot suddenly become a great performer.
    • Create goals that you can actually achieve.
    • The alternative is to learn to mimic composure until you achieve it if you truly cannot keep your cool.
    • As a result, it's crucial that you keep your worries to yourself as much as possible and, if you need to, talk about them with your spouse or another parent who is going through something similar.
    • However, it's important to reassure your graduating seniors that there are likely alternative routes into their intended field of study and that delaying their education by a year or two won't have much of an impact on their future prospects.
    • As it turns out, about half of all secondary school students find using electronic devices during exam periods to be distracting.
    • If you implement parental controls, they will be less likely to fight while they are studying for exams.
    • Parents can protect their children from potential distractions by installing software like Apple's Family Zone on their children's devices.
    • You should not evaluate your child in relation to other children, and you should not allow the activities or behaviours of other people's children to divert your attention from your own.
    • You should monitor your child's academic progress, but you shouldn't hover over them.
    • Preparing for tomorrow's exams should be a top priority.
    • Parental counselling is important, but if you're feeling overwhelmed by exam anxiety, there are professional helplines you may call.

    FAQs About Tutoring

    Plan a treat or an activity together to mark the end of the exams. Set aside one to one time so that they can talk to you about any worries. Let them know their feelings are valid and normal and offer support and solutions where possible.

    Exam stress can lead to many different mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety, panic attacks, low self-esteem, self-harming and suicidal thoughts, and worsening pre-existing mental health conditions.

    • Get a Study Buddy. Nothing is more motivating than another person. 
    • 8 Minute Study Blocks. 
    • Think Positively. 
    • Take Care Of Your Body. 
    • Reward Yourself

    Behavioural signs include fidgeting, nail-biting, and increased smoking, drinking or eating. Mental and emotional signs include difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, "going blank," worry, and uncontrolled feelings of fear, dread or helplessness.

    • Don't start celebrating too early. 
    • Allow yourself small victories. 
    • Use what works. 
    • Keep on top by staying organised. 
    • Study with the right friends. 
    • Take care of yourself.

    Author

    • Dr. Olga Abeysekera

      Olga has a PhD in Management from Monash University. Her research focused on how personal differences and social networking impact creativity in the tech industry. She has extensive teaching experience at universities and private tutoring centers, praised for her engaging methods and clear insights. Olga also writes for top academic journals and creates innovative programs that enhance skills and consulting methods. She believes in the power of education to inspire ongoing growth in both studies and careers.

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