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Supporting young people with exam preparation

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Exam season can be can also be a stressful period for all involved but there are ways you can support young people through this period.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child reach their maximum potential, but some children or young adults may feel the pressure is too great, which can lead to exam stress and mental health problems.

Here are some pointers on how to be encouraging, what to watch out for when your child’s exam stress levels are too high, and where to seek support.

Tips for parents

  • Help your child to identify a revising method and space that suits them; this might be a place that is peaceful and distraction-free, a public space with background noise, or any place that has their favourite music playing.
  • Maintain a good schedule- no one should miss out on sleep, and it’s important to eat a balanced diet and drink lots of water to keep the whole family’s energy levels up. Assist your child in making a revision schedule that incorporates enjoyable and unwinding activities to prevent revision fatigue.
  • Schedule practice questions for every topic to keep you engaged and improve memory and recall. 
  • Remain upbeat- your child’s confidence will soar when they realise you believe in them. Exam results should not define you or your child. You should also practise self-care and set an example of a healthy balance for your child. 
  • Finally, establish a connection with your child or young person by asking them how they feel about their tests, their preparation, and their outcomes.

Indications that exam stress might be too much

  • Trouble sleeping and unsettling dreams
  • Modifications in regular eating habits, such as cutting back, increasing, or becoming more reserved around food
  • Decreased confidence, appearing unable to handle daily obstacles
  • Difficulties focusing
  • Unusual angry outbursts
  • Negative thoughts, believing that bad things will happen
  • Avoiding friends, public places, or school

What kind of assistance can be offered to manage exam stress?

If you ask, your child’s school will be happy to assist with study skills and can provide support. Consider calling your child’s general practitioner (GP) for guidance and referrals if you are concerned that they may be getting sick. The UK-based nonprofit organisation “YoungMinds,” which promotes children’s and adolescents’ mental health, also has a wealth of useful information available online.

Visit or text YM to 85258.

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