If your child is stressed about exams, it can cause a variety of physical symptoms that can negatively affect her test performance.
These range from a fast-beating heart to having trouble sleeping to having stomach cramps. When your child is not feeling her best, she is less likely to do well on her exams. While a little bit of stress is good to keep your child’s mind focused on doing a good job, too much can cause him to perform poorly. Prevent as much stress as possible to ensure your child feels as good as possible before an exam.
Here are some studying tips to help cut down on your child’s stress.
- Have your child study before she knows she needs to. Encourage her to go over her lessons every time she has class so that she does not have to cram the night before an exam. Have her think of questions that she thinks the teacher might ask and then write down the questions and answers after each class.
- Time management is vital. Avoid five-hour cram sessions. Instead, tell your child to study for just under an hour with a few breaks where your child gets up and moves around. Brain breaks help concentration. Provide your child a study place where there are no distractions, and tell her to study the material to the point of comprehension, not just memorization.
- Encourage healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising routines. Your child may be tempted to eat junk food, but encourage him to eat healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, maybe with his favorite sauce or dip, and then to ride his bike or take a walk. A consistent, early bed time is also important to retaining information.
- Have your child make her own practice test with questions she thinks the teacher will ask, or have her create one with the help of other classmates. They can then grade each other’s work.
- Relaxation techniques can help reduce stress as well. Have your child write down stressful thoughts, think positive thoughts when negative ones come into his head (Replace, “I will fail this test” with “I am confident I will do well.”), and do deep breathing exercises. Have your child breathe with his stomach area, not just his chest, and then exhale slowly.
- Teach your child to visualize success. Have her think of receiving top marks on the paper after finishing the exam and writing down the correct answers to each question on the test.
- If your child is still stressed near the exam, have him talk to someone he trusts. That may be you, the parent, or perhaps a friend, counselor at school, teacher, or a friend.
- When your child takes the exam, encourage him to read all the directions carefully and to answer the questions he can first. The latter can help build confidence and save time to complete the more difficult questions.