How to minimise exam stress for mental well-being

Tips from the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust

It’s the time of year again which parents of Year 11 pupils dread! As much as we all try to keep a calm and placid home for our GCSE exam aged children, there is inevitably going to be some degree of stress and anxiety in the household.

There are a few general things that a parent or carer can do to relieve some daily exam stress for their child when they are doing their GCSEs. We all know that every child is different, so, therefore, they will all have their own unique strategies and techniques to help calm their nerves. It would probably be worth having a discussion about this with your child to see what they think will help? Knowing that they have your support through exams will help them feel reassured.

 

Top tips for parents

Make sure your child has access to the basics!

  • Stock the cupboards with nutritious food for meal times

  • Make sure your child has breakfast or lunch before their exam

  • Encourage decent sleep routines

  • Make sure they have all of the equipment that they need such as plenty of black ink pens and a scientific calculator for example

  • Have a copy of their exam timetable so that you know what they have coming up

  • Remind your child to take a clear, full water bottle to every exam

  • Plan a few fun activities to look forward to

Where can I go for more advice?

The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust have developed Wellbeing Guides for young people, parents and teachers, to help promote an emotionally healthy approach to exams. These are packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time. Visit www.cwmt.org.uk/exam-wellbeing.

 

Practical and visual advice

  • Wash out 2 empty jars and add the same amount of treats, marbles or beads as your child has exams in one jar. After every exam, take out one marble and put it in the other jar. This encourages your child to focus on how many exams they have completed, rather than how many they have left.
  • Instead of counting how many days until the exams start, countdown how many days there are until they are over! Plan an exciting event at the end of the exams as something to look forward to.
  • Section each day into three parts - revision and exam / free or family time / sleep or rest. This will show them that there should be time for everything and that their exams (although important) shouldn’t take over their life completely!
  • Talk about their own personal stress-relieving strategies and techniques - they may not even realise they have any! Being aware of their coping strategies helps them to apply them when necessary. 

 

How can EdPlace help?

EdPlace students progress by over 150% across English, maths and science over a school year. Help your child achieve their best through access to thousands of online worksheets, assessments and revision materials from year 1 to GCSE. EdPlace is the only online learning platform that has SEND accessibility options! Go to our SEND Hub for more information.

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