GCSE and A Level exams have officially begun. This year schools and colleges see the return of the 'normal' exam system since the start of the Pandemic which can feel like an added pressure to pupils. It's no surprise that stress levels are likely to be much higher both in and out of the classroom at this time. In this blog post you will find some useful tips to help children cope with the stress that comes with exams.
Let them know that you're available to listen
It's important to let them know that you are there to listen without pressuring them into having a conversation. Make them aware that if they have any worries or are feeling anxious about their exams that you are there for them. Also remind them that feeling like this is totally normally and understandable in high pressure situations.
It's not just the exams themselves that can be overwhelming but also the revision. Having to sit multiple exams means having to find the time to do multiple subject revision. Help your pupils or child to create a routine. Create a timetable and plot in the dates and times of each exam, from this you can then work together to schedule in revision blocks. Revision doesn't mean spending 6 hours sat at the same text book either. Schedule 30 minute blocks with a 10 minute break between each of them.
Unwinding after exams
Make a point of not dwelling on an exam and how they think they did once it's over. Find a way to help your pupils or child unwind, relax and switch off until it's time to get back to the revision for the next exam. This could be anything from having a family meal, going to the cinema or getting outside for a nice long walk.
Promote a healthy lifestyle
It goes without saying that this is a must regardless of exams. But highlighting the benefits of eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep will help remind pupils that these lifestyle choices all contribute to a positive mental health and healthy body and mind.
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