Date: Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BEAT EXAM STRESS – Tips for students and parents

Exams are a challenging part of school for both children and parents.    But there are ways to ease the stress.  Exercise will help boost energy levels and clear minds and relieve stress (walking, cycling, swimming, playing sport and dancing all helpful).  Good nutritious food is essential.

Watch for Stress

Look for signs like irritability, not sleeping well, loosing interest in food, worrying a lot and appearing depressed or negative.  Headaches and stomach pains can also be stress related.  What helps is someone to talk to about their work to keep things in perspective.   If you are worried your child is not coping then talk to your child’s Learning Tutor or a teacher.

Ensure you are eating well

A balanced diet is vital especially under stress.   It is really important going into an exam that your child has a substantial breakfast.  The brain, like any other muscle needs fed for maximum performance.  High-fat, high-sugar and high-caffine foods and drinks (such as cola, sweets, cholate, energy drinks, burgers and chips) can make some children hyperactive, irritable and moody 

Sleep helps study and exam performance

Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration.   Children who sleep well will do better.     Adolescents need between 8 – 10 hours sleep a night. Cramming all night before an exam is a bad idea.   Anything that winds the brain up before sleep eg: games/facebook/texting/TV is likely to make it more difficult to relax and get off to sleep.   Allow an hour to wind down before going to bed.

Be flexible around exam time

It is good to be flexible around exam time.   If your child is revising all day don’t worry about the jobs that are left undone like untidy bedrooms.   Staying calm and grounded yourself will help your child through the stress and model ways to cope in difficult times.  All difficult and stressful times pass.  Remind your child of this.

Help them to study

Help your child to revise by making sure they have somewhere comfortable to study.   Help them draw up a revision schedule that builds in all the important things that keeps life in balance including breaks and time to be with friends.

Discuss being nervous

Remind your child that being nervous and anxious is normal.  Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams.   The key is to put these nerves to positive use.  Being reminded of what they do know and the time they have put into study can help them feel confident.   If you feel that the anxiety is overwhelming talk to your school counselor or a GP.

Encourage exercise

Make sure your child is active.   Exercise helps boost energy and assists concentration.

If you are worried about your child then ring the school.  We are here to help 2089060.


Contact Details

Street Address: 121 Kakapo Street, Gore, Southland, New Zealand
Postal Address: P O Box 94, Gore 9740
Telephone: (03) 208 9060
Fax: (03) 208 0000

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