7 Top Tips On How To Help a Teenager With Exam Stress

Top Tips To Help Teenagers With Exams

Teenagers and exams are not a good mix at the best of times especially those dreaded GCSEs and A Levels (UK).  So as the weather turns to glorious summer days, my teenager is tucked away revising.

As a parent, I worry about my child going through the exam process and wondered how I could help the revision process.  So here are a few Tops Tips that seem to be working for us in helping to reduce exam stress for the whole family!

Helping Teenagers with Exams, some top tips on hoe to cope with the stress of revision and exams

YOUR TEENAGER NEEDS:

REVISION BREAKS

I cannot stress how important these are.

A teenager who is constantly revising with no break will reach a point where they are not actually taking in any more information.  It is not good for their eyes, their health or their mental state.

A five or ten-minute break will help your teenager relax, refocus and revise better.  If they are worried about wasting ‘revision time’ then set an alarm and agree that they have to get back to revising once it goes off.

FOOD & DRINK

Snacks and drinks are essential for keeping a teenager hydrated and full of energy.  Little and often is the key and try not to let them fill up on sugary drinks and high salt snacks as this will not help.

A cheese sandwich or a piece of fruit and a hot drink is often welcome in our home.

You may even get some thanks but just keep a look out for all those empty plates piling up!

 

Help your teenager be as stress free as possible during their exams

 

YOUR TEENAGER ALSO NEEDS:

EXAMS AND EXERCISE

Often your teenager will be sitting down for long periods when they are revising.  Sometimes exercise and sport become less important to them especially if they are not doing an exam in that area.

It is a good idea to encourage your teenager to keep exercising.  Going for a quick walk can help clear the head of exam stress and the fresh air will help to make them more invigorated.

RELAXATION & SLEEP

We try to suggest that our teenager does not revise right up until bedtime but rather he spends some time with the family.

If your teenager is stressed and cannot sleep try giving them a warm, milky drink before bed or suggest a relaxing bath.

Revising in their bedroom?  Why not suggest that they physically put away their books, failing that cover the study area with a duvet cover or blanket.  Something as simple as blocking the revision area from view can help them to relax.

Finally, some deep breathing and relaxation techniques can help them rest even if they cannot sleep.

REMEMBER TO GIVE THEM:

SPACE AND UNDERSTANDING

Ensure that all family members, especially younger siblings, are aware that this is an important time for your teenager.  We have made it a family rule that our teenager is not disturbed once he goes to his room to revise.

Remind well-meaning extended family members that your son or daughter may not be available for the usual family activities when they are revising.

Maybe suggest a special family celebration after the exams have finished instead.

LOVE AND PATIENCE

As your teenager becomes more focused on their studies they can appear to become more distracted from normal family life and chores.  I have stopped insisting that chores are done and I have added them into my routine to give my teenager a break.

However, my teenager will sometimes do chores as a break from the revising and quite enjoys the repetition.  Chose your battles, is it really that important that they empty the dishwasher as soon as it has finished its cleaning cycle?

Give your teenager lots of love and encouragement.

A hug or a hand on their shoulder can boost their spirits if they are feeling down or tense.  Leave a little note to say how proud you are of them on their pillow or next to their school bag.

Listen to them when they talk about their subject, even if you do not really understand what they are studying.  Make them feel that they are not alone and that you are behind them 100% no matter what.

 

Revision List1

 

AND FINALLY:

All we ask is that our teenager tries his best.  Results are not that important and exams can be retaken.  Many successful business people have passed very few exams.

Don’t let your child think that the sum of their existence is some grades on a piece of paper.  

There is more to life than just examination results and many careers can be followed without them.

These are just some of the things that we are trying to do at home and seem to be working with our teenager as we begin the countdown to the GCSE’s this year.

If you are worried about your son and daughter and how they are coping with their revision and exam timetable I suggest you talk to the school, the school nurse or your family GP.  

Always interested in writing, reading and learning in general. I love the quirky and unusual! All thoughts are my own!

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26 Responses
  1. Kanchan @ The Intrepid Misadventurer

    Your post really struck a chord with me…I’ve been through a good many exams in my academic career and everything you say stands true! The most important is breaks…that’s when your brain consolidates the information taken in, making space for new knowledege. Breaks are the key to successful retenion. High protein food, adequate sleep and a calm environment and your child is on the way to success 🙂 Your post made me smile thinking back at just how long (way into adulthood), exams and preparation for them have been part of our lives! Great post. x

  2. Some great tips there. Thankfully we are nowhere near this stage yet but I remember the stress of exams from when I was at school and lots of these would have helped!

  3. I loved exams (which came in handy at law school), but I do think there is unnecessary pressure on our teens to do well. It’s a snapshot of what they can churn out on one day, with no account of home circumstances, or reaction to pressure. I think, as a teacher, they are ridiculous. But these are great tips!

  4. Excellent advice. My son starts his GCSEs tomorrow! Gulp!!!!! We do a lot of those things, he’s free from chores and we are trying to keep the house quite at study times. Hard with three younger ones though!

  5. Lisa Prince (@BEAUTY_IIAO)

    oh glad are the days those are over, although i still have to revise and research now and actually enjoy it more now x

  6. It is such a stressful time for everyone living with a teen. It is particularly hard on them now as they have exams every year, which I think increases stress. You have some great tips for nurturing everyone through this period and I hope your teen gets the results that they are hoping for x

  7. I think love and patience are necessary for teenagers exams or not 😉 Seriously though, really great advice here. I’m one of those Mums who doesn’t leave anyone in my home for more that 5 minutes without checking food and beverage status, so hopefully we’ll live. My youngest is doing her SATS and elsest just about to start options, so it’s all going on for us 🙂
    Love Vicky
    Around and Upside Down

  8. Lucie Aiston

    Fab tips you have there. My daughter is 11 and about to do SATs next week. Off to secondary school in September so the years will I’m sure whizz by and we will be at this stage! Really great advice!

  9. Hear, hear! How lovely are you? The pressure some kids are put under is insane, it sounds like you totally have the right balance…in fact on my work days, I could do with remembering to follow these simple rules for myself!

    Gosh, this really has taken me back… it doesn’t seem that long since I was the teenager but it won’t be that long until we’ll have our own going through it!

    Good luck to your boy! xx

  10. Really good tips and something I will show my teen. She gets herself so worked up about tests, god knows what she is going to be like with exams x

  11. Louisa

    Great tips. My eldest son had his first exam today. It is a very stressful time for them, any ideas about how to help them are greatly received.

  12. I remember being really over board with revising for my GCSE’s. I would stay awake most nights to revise and pull all nighters. I really don’t want that for my girls so will hopefully be able to help them with organisation and with a timetable to help them when they are older x

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