Exam Stress

Parents can and should prepare themselves for the exam season to avoid making children anxious. A parent should act as a facilitator for the child during exams. Remember, the child is already feeling anxious and stressed about their performance in exams. At this juncture, as a parent, you could:

  • Help your child create a study timetable so there is sufficient time to revise the subjects
  • Assist the child in revising the study material
  • Provide adequate and nutritious food to keep them fit and healthy
  • Monitor your child’s sleeping pattern and make sure they get adequate rest
  • Provide the much needed assurance and emotional support for your child to overcome their apprehensions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know whether my child is suffering from exam stress?

As a parent, you will know how your child emotionally reacts when they are scared, tense or anxious. Often children talk to parents about their anxieties, frustrations, or their difficulties in coping with studies. Some of the anxieties expressed by children are that they have not adequately prepared, what if they do not get the seat/course they want, inability to concentrate, forgetting everything, not able to grasp the subjects etc. Also, some children tend to oversleep or sleep very little, while some others may have an upset stomach just before exams or may express hopelessness and anxiety about the results. Sometimes due to severe anxiety, students may involve in self-harming behaviours also. All these are signs of stress and anxiety due to exams. Being available for the child and monitoring becomes important to keep track of any changes in their behaviour. Reassuring the child that the focus is on learning rather than on marks will calm them to a great extent. It is important to keep your calm and not to induce fear in them.

My child wants to study at night. Should I allow this?

Every child is different and so are their study habits. Some prefer sleeping early and waking up early in the morning to study, while others concentrate better at night. If your child can study at night and rest in the morning, let them do so. Also, remember that children tend to sleep more in their adolescence. If their sleep is disturbed, they won’t be able to function efficiently during the day time.

How can I help my child make a study schedule?

Every child is different, some require their support of parents and teachers constantly others to some extent and there are few who manage well on their own. Parents can help in the following ways:

  • Check how much of the course has been completed
  • Offer suggestions on making a time table and help them follow it
  • Explain concepts if they are confused about it
  • Encourage them to take some time out to relax
  • Give them tests at home if they are slow in writing and organizing their answers

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