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Building resilience for exams: tips for parents and learners

Simple changes to attitudes and approaches can help students avoid the anxiety traps around the examination period. Pic: Siora Photography

Simple changes to attitudes and approaches can help students avoid the anxiety traps around the examination period. Pic: Siora Photography

Published Jun 2, 2022

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Our children have experienced a lot of historical events in their young years and technology has brought these experiences right into their living rooms during a critical part of their cognitive and emotional development.

Jackie Cook, from Teneo Online School, shares some tips on how parents and learners can promote and build resilience for this exam period and beyond.

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4 tips for parents:

1. It is important to teach students to recognise and acknowledge the way they are feeling.

2. Never tell a student that “millions of other students have gone through this, so just get on with it”. Instead, see where you can assist in what is causing them the most stress.

3. Remind them that exams are not memory tests – they should rather try to understand the concepts.

4. Motivate, encourage, and offer support; never scold or criticise (even if you consider it to be positive criticism).

5 tips for parents:

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1. Focus on time management and mapping out how you will approach this exam period.

2. Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to cram.

3. Preparing for your exams starts the first day of each term – students need to be organised from the start of their first day back.

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4. Get on top of your notes, keep them up to date and organised.

5. Set yourself up for success by having a designated study area and then taking regular breaks for fresh air. Know what triggers your anxiety – reduce your caffeine intake and always get a full night’s rest the night before an exam.

“You will be surprised by what happens when parents and students change their perception of exams from being a negative, stressful time with excessive expectations to an exciting time of learning and family bonding. Now is as good a time as any to give it a try,” concludes Cook.

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