How to support your child through exams: A parents’ guide

Exam season is almost here and with it comes a whole host of challenges and emotions for students.  As a parent, it can sometimes be tricky to know how best to support your child through this time in their lives. However, there are things you can do to help in the final few weeks of preparation and during the exams which can make all the difference.

Ask what support is needed

Ask what help you can give your child but choose your moment. Inviting them to tell you what they need from you will show them that you are keen to support them on their terms.  It could be that they would really value lifts to and from extra revision sessions; your time to test them on certain topics; or help to draw up a realistic revision plan.

Find a revision style that suits

There are so many revision techniques to choose from and not all of them will suit everyone. Often it is the use of a range of techniques which are most effective. We found this useful article to explain some tried and tested methods.

Provide the right environment for study

If you can minimise disruptions and distractions during revision time it will be a big help.  It could be that younger siblings are kept entertained and away from the house for a little while or you choose to do the vacuuming when your child is having a break from their studies.

Help them to look after themselves

Finding the balance between studying and time off to do things away from the books will help to manage the stress and give the brain a breather! An overloaded mind won’t work as effectively so taking time away from studying is essential.  Physical exercise can help to manage the stress and give the brain time to process the information you have been taking in.

A healthy diet can also ensure that the brain is firing on all cylinders. Although it is tempting to reach for the sugar and the caffeine, the benefits you get are short term. Tiredness and irritability can kick in when the effects wear off.  Make sure there are plenty of healthy snacks and nutritious meals available to fuel the brain and the body. Did you know that a study has proven that a 200g blueberry smoothie can increase your concentration powers by as much as 20% over the whole day?

Creating space and time to talk can also be very beneficial. A chance to talk through worries, positives and life outside of exams is vital to stop it all becoming a bit too much to deal with. There are some useful hints and tips and sources of help on the Young Minds web site.

Schools and colleges provide lots of support so find out what is on offer and encourage your child to use the services that will help them. Here at college there are a range of services available in the Wellbeing Hub to help our students through exam season.

Published by Lisa On 9th April 2019

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