How to avoid exam burn-out

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Nov 17, 2020

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The struggles of 2020 have definitely helped me grow as a parent. Who knew I had in it me to be a "teacher?”

The year has been draining on so many levels and particularly on our children whose academic year has been severely disrupted.

Now, however, they are at the stage where they are writing exams and we, as parents and caregivers, have to watch closely for signs of unhealthy stress and potential exam burn-out.

Burn-out is a real thing, and it is often caused by the long and tiring exam period.

There will come a point during the exam when your child will feel completely exhausted – mentally and physically – and unsure of how they are going to make it through. It is tough but there are ways to help your child escape this mindset trap.

This is what you can do to help your child prevent exam burn-out.

1. Balance: We are all human and all have social lives outside of our work. It is very important to never forget that. Your child should still have a chance to relax with their friends, even during exams.

2. Structured study sessions: Structure your child’s study sessions so that they study in short bursts of 15 to 25 minutes, with five to 10-minute breaks in between. It has been proven that shorter, focused study sessions are much more effective than longer, draining study sessions.

3. Switch off: Take a break from technology! Your child should switch off from technology on study days, even if just during the study portion of the day. This will keep them focused and will help them get through their work faster. Use their access to their devices as a reward for studying hard.

4. Take a day off: Take them out for ice cream, a walk on the beach, or a drive with the family. The stimulation of the real world will refresh their minds and allow for a mental break. They will feel energised when they get back to their studies and be more capable of studying effectively.

5. Eat, sleep, and exercise: Yes you hear this all the time, but your child must have a balanced diet, sleep, and exercise routine. A balanced and consistent sleep schedule is therefore also of the utmost importance, especially during exam time.

6. Early in the day: They should also always study before going out. If they go out with friends with a plan of “studying when they get back”, it won’t happen. At least not effectively. Study first, the party later.

7. Be realistic: Set smaller, achievable goals and remind your child that as long as they do their best, you’ll be proud of them. Yes, studying is tough. But you will survive, and your child will make it through their exams if they have the right attitude and right routines.

These tips were given by Aiden Delport, a digital marketing specialist at Learning Lab Apps.

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