From a very young age children are expected to undertake some sort of exams. The first official ones often happen in year one when your child may do a phonics check. This is a very informal test which is done in a classroom environment where you child will be asked to read out a certain list of words. Not all of the words are really words, and it is used to check their understanding of sounding out. The following year your child will do their first SATS exams. Again in Key stage one these are quite informal but some children can still get very worried about them. Throughout the rest of their school life they will again be tested at regular intervals and in year 11 will do their GCSE’s.
It is very important that you talk to your children about exams and their worries and help to reassure them. Early tests and exams are often done without the children really being aware of them but you may still want to talk to them about it. Some parents feel it is better not to say anything but if your child is already mentioning it or has questions it is better for them to feel they can talk to you.
Helping your child come up with a revision schedule and trying to ensure they stick to it can help take away the feeling of stress. If you are struggling ask their teacher for some advice as to how they can structure revision and what you can do to help aid it.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many exams you have done, put anyone in those sorts of sterile exam conditions with the added pressure of a time limit and it’s enough to put the most level-headed person into a state of heightened anxiety.
With this in mind it is therefore perfectly normal to feel that way during a period of exams at school or college. You want to do well and may be worried of the outcome of the exam and how it will effect future life decisions such as attending a university of your choice or getting a certain job.
Without being able to eliminate these stresses it is important to understand how to deal with them and below are some tips that can help.
Meditation can really help to clear and relax the mind, if you struggle to do this there are many online videos and media tracks that can help you to do this in your own time at home.
Staying active will also help and light exercise such as going for a walk will boost your blood flow and the fresh air will help to clear your head.
Good preparation is key to doing well in your exams so careful planning and revision will give you all the tools you need for a good grade.
Eating well is also very important as foods such as oily fish with omega 3 and high proteins can actually help your concentration levels. Avoid high carb high fat foods as these can make you feel tired and sluggish.
The day is fast approaching when thousands of students will receive their A-Level results. This year, the results will be released on the 16th of August but many students may not actually know what they need to do with them once they have them.
The results can be collected from 6 am but you need to check with your school or college to find out what time they are opening. UCAS are automatically notified of your results but this isn’t usually until around 8 am. Once they have the results you can then start to log in and view any offers you have had from universities etc. The system is usually very busy and so you may have to be patient to go to the site and see what is happening.
If you have not received the offers you wanted, you can go through what’s called “clearing” this doesn’t happen until about 3 pm but you may contact the university prior to this by phone.
If you have not received the grades you wanted and needed, do not panic. You can try and contact the university and ask them if they would accept you on the course with the grades you have (this is often only successful if you missed the grade by a few marks, and even then there are no guarantees) or go through clearing to find another university course.
We all know that revision can really help when it comes to doing well in exams. The problem is that lots of people find revision boring and also often struggle to actually take in what they are reading after a while.
Revision should be done in small chunks to avoid this happening but it’s not particularly very fun to just sit and read pages and pages out of your textbook, so why not get a little more inventive and think take a look at a few examples below that will make it more enjoyable:
Charades – this may sound odd but it can actually work really well. Write down phrases out of your textbook and act them out for a few friends as you would in a game of charades. Take it in turns to act out facts. This will often be quite fun and you may find that you remember it because of being able to have a laugh with your friends whilst doing it.
Watch a documentary or film – if there is a certain topic that you are struggling with then why not try and watch a film or documentary about it or even listen to an audiobook, this can often bring the subject to life, making it more enjoyable and often easier to digest.
Many young children are taking part in their SATs exams starting this week. This can be an extremely stressful time for a child and although as parents you may not worry too much them, for the child it can be overwhelming. As a parent there are some signs of stress that you can look out for and ways in which you can help your child cope. Never brush it off, y telling your child not to be stupid or that they are overacting, as to them it may be something that is deeply concerning and something they cannot help worrying about.
For many of the children, it will be the first time they have experienced tests under exam conditions and SATs in particular have been deemed controversial for their difficulty and the level of stress they have caused pupils.
Helping to ensure that your child eats well, is sleeping well and staying active should help them manage their anxiety. You can also help devise a study plan with them, making sure that they also have time to switch off and play. Always reiterate to your child that exams can be important and will occur throughout their education but their well being is far more important.