There are lots of ways to prepare reduce the stress levels of exams and achieve exam success whilst avoiding the blues.
The problem is, what once seemed like a distant memory comes back as soon as your own kids find themselves in the same situation.
Exam season is upon us and it isn’t much fun for the whole family.But other than pulling your hair out when you realise the only book they are interested in is Facebook, what can you do to help?
- Keep calm and be supportive.
- Simple words. Probably the best advice but, much easier said than done.
Relate is offering words of advice for families pushed to breaking point by exam stress in a bid to help both the students and parents.
One important thing parents can do is take action to stop their siblings acting up because they are jealous of the attention their brother or sister is getting. Try to explain it is just for a short while and do fun things with them to make sure they don’t feel forgotten.
Even with the best intentions in the world you can’t sit your children’s exams for them so helping everyone through with the least amount of stress is important. Avoid setting up expectations by telling your son or daughter that you know they will do well – it would be better to tell them that you want them to do their best. Small treats along the way is a good way to make your child feel important and cared for. It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive and could be as simple as cooking their favourite dinner.
For teenagers in the midst of exam hell, Relate hammers home the message that it is vital to keep things in perspective. While GCSEs and A-Levels may seem like the only way to success when it is exam season, there are plenty of other keys to happiness out there. Relate also suggests teenagers avoid people who wind them up and instead hang out with people who make them feel calm. They can also be the best ones to turn to when you don’t understand something.
There is nothing worse than spending ages trying to get your head around something for too long because the chance’s are you’ll just blow it out of all proportion and stress even more. So ask a teacher or a friend – if they’re studying for the same exams there’s a good chance they’ll know and you might even be able to help them.
She said: “Firstly I would encourage parents to help their children to find a good space in which to study. It can be the kitchen table if necessary as long as for the duration of their studying you respect their need for peace and quiet.Also try to agree a time table for studying and make everyone in the household aware that they need to be extremely considerate during these times. Be supportive and encouraging and even though you may be feeling anxious and worried about how your child will cope, keep your own anxiety under control.”
As a hypnotherapist and counsellor, Denise is well aware that many people approach exams with trepidation rather viewing them as the chance to gain reward for all the years of effort and hard work. She says the most obvious factor which inhibits the capacity to learn is fear so it is important to tackle the problem before exam day arrives.
Denise added: “Poor study habits can result in total frustration and desperation but there are valuable strategies which can be used to aid memory retention and help an individual to manage their time far more effectively.There really is no need for sleepless nights and anxiousness over exams. Strategies to help learning can make a powerful difference to the whole process. It’s all about enabling people to take control and to approach the learning experience and exams with self-confidence and motivation.”
Top Tips To Revise More Effectively
There are lots of ways to prepare for exam success and avoid the blues. Here are Denise’s tips for effective revision:
- Use just one particular space to study.
- It should be somewhere quiet and free from interruptions for the duration of the study period with no distractions.
- Approach study time with a positive attitude and put some thought into what you are going to achieve each time.
- Break huge amounts of revision down into smaller chunks so that you can track progression more easily.
- Test yourself at the end of each small block of learning to consolidate your understanding and only move on if you have truly understood the work so far.
- Consistent reviewing and testing of material will help to commit the information more effectively to long term memory.
- Allow breaks in between learning tasks.
- Reading huge amounts in one sitting can be totally counter-productive.
- Little and often is the key to successful learning as the mind needs to process the information learned effectively.
- If you want to improve concentration remember to eat!
- Eat healthy, regular meals and snacks and always make sure that you have a glass of water to hand.
- Sleep is also essential as the brain will function more efficiently and retain more information following a good night’s sleep.
- Meditation and breathing techniques are valuable aids which can help with sleep problems.
- Finally be kind to yourself! Treat yourself by taking the time to do something that you really enjoy for at least a few minutes each day.
We all respond well to rewards so take the time to give yourself a pat on the back.
You deserve it!
This is an article published on Thursday 19 May 2011 in the the star. Click reduce exam stress and see the original article.