Is your year 6 stressing about exams?

In year six pupils are subjected to undergo SATs exams. The results of these exams may be used to help decide what set the child will be in when they go to secondary school but mostly they are used to see how individual pupils are performing academically compared to other students of the same year group. They re also used to see how a school is performing and to check that students the levels they expect.

SAT’s may not be all that important later on in life but that doesn’t mean that some students won’t feel worried about them. They would have had to do SAT’s in year 2 but these are not done in exam conditions. Year six SAT’s will most likely be one of if not the first proper exams that the children have taken. It is important to discuss the SAT’s with your child and encourage them to try their best but make sure not to put too much pressure on them. If your child is showing really signs of worry, upset or distress then you may want to speak to their teacher or the head to ask for some help and guidance and to make them aware.

Are exams necessary?

There is often a huge debate as to if exams really are necessary. They can put a lot of pressure on students who may already be struggling with other aspects of life and if you are someone that struggles in exam conditions you may find that you do not get the grades you need to even though you perform well in the classroom. The reason exams are so popular is that it offers an easy way to compare one student again another and one educational setting against another. Often exams that are taken when the student is younger, are more used to see how the school or nursery is performing rather than the individual child.

It is important that students do not get too worried about exams and although they do need to try their best and they can have an impact on choices that are available to them in the future, there is often the possibility to retake them if needs be. When studying for an exam, revisions is vital and can make a huge difference to how successful you are. Take the time to plan your revision and to give yourself adequate breaks in between and a chance to recharge your batteries.

Post pandemic exams

This month has seen the start of students being allowed back into examination rooms to sit exams such as GCSEs and A levels. This is the first time in 2 years that actual exams have taken place rather than teacher assessment and classwork going towards a student’s final grade.

 For some this dramatic change has heightened their anxiety and it has been hard to adapt back to the standard exam setting. To add extra uncertainty, they are now saying that there may not be enough exam invigilators available due to worries over exposure to Covid being in different schools. Some schools are even asking parents to help out and diverting teachers from their usual roles to monitor exams instead.

It is expected that this year’s exam results will suffer because of these factors, with lower-than-average grades predicted. So now more than ever its important that we encourage positive mental health for young people. Along with reassurance that these exams are not the be all and end all and you can have a successful career even if you struggle with exams. Maybe the pandemic has highlighted that the old-style exam process is simply not fit for purpose in this modern age.

How to prepare your child for their SAT exams

If your child is in year 6 at primary school then they will mostly be taking part in SAT’s exams this summer. Although these exams don’t mean much when they are older they are often taken in to account when it comes to deciding what sets they will be in at secondary school.

Often these sorts of exams are more aimed at checking the school is performing well and the =at the pupils are achieving the results they would expect but many children still get anxious about it and worry.

It is important to talk to your child about it and not to just dismiss any concerns they may have. You need to talk them through and reassure them. It is vital that they know it is not the end of the world if they do not get the results they hoped for and that all they can do is there best. In the run up to the SATS schools will be spending most of the time revisiting things that they have done that are likely to come up in the exams. This will help them be able to recall the information when it is required and will highlight if there is an area they may need extra help with.

Will exams resume as normal next year?

No one knows exactly what the next 12 months will hold for us in terms of the virus and restrictions, but many are hopeful that by then most things will have returned to normal and children will have remained in school. It is likely that the education mister will want exams to resume next year as long as everything continues on the path that it has but this does mean that students that are going to be doing them will need to do a fair amount of catching up in preparation.

Some exams are not really important in terms of the student’s education going forward but others will make a huge difference in to what colleges, universities or sixth forms they can get in to along with what jobs they can apply for.

It is likely that many students will feel under pressure more than ever to perform well and may not be given any allowances like the last two years’ students have. The government is looking in to ways in which it can offer additional education to those in need of it later on this year, but it may all be a little too late for those sitting exams next spring.