Managing Exam Stress
Exams can be stressful. And not just for those who are sitting them. Parents and carers find them equally stressful. Read on to learn some simple tricks to making managing exam stress easier.
This year will be the first time since 2020 that pupils will sit exams. We have all possibly forgotten what it means to go through a formal revision process and an exam timetable. For most, exams loom ahead like a massive brick wall or barrier. They are seen as massive obstacles that might not be overcome. But you can change the way you think about them.
Preparation for the exams can start now. And this does not mean diving head first into the books. One of the best preparation tools is routine. Get yourself into a routine as soon as possible. And that routine needs to be based on the timings of the exam season. Start getting into a habit that allows you to be alert for both the morning and afternoon exams. That means getting to bed at a reasonable time. And then waking up with enough time to have a calm start to the day that will include breakfast and possibly even a bit of light exercise. But you need to get to school as calm and as relaxed as possible.
And then start including the following into your daily routine: exercise, social contact and down time. To be exam fit, you need to be as physically, psychologically and socially healthy as possible.
But the most important aspect about exam preparation is adjusting your perspective on exams. Exams are not a barrier. Exams are an opportunity. They are doors that you can open to the next stage of your life. The best GCSEs you can achieve open doors to A level. A levels open doors to the next stage of your academic career.
But this means you might have to change the way you look at each subject. There is a brilliant concept called Growth Mindset. Watch this short video by Carol Dweck, the brilliant American Psychologist, where she explains the idea. But for example: your Physics exam might be in June. The idea is to say to yourself: I have not mastered that particular topic yet. Or: I am not familiar with the whole of Macbeth at the moment. Both of these ideas suggest that you still have time to master the topic. Your knowledge and skills can still develop between now and the exam.
Have a read of this blog where I offer you some guidance on managing exam stress.