Operation Transformation psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy advises parents of exam students

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It’s all started, At least the end is in sight but it is still not too late to look at ways of helping students to focus and take some pressure off them.

It’s all started, At least the end is in sight but it is still not too late to look at ways of helping students to focus and take some pressure off them.

Here are some Top Tips.

1. Become their cheerleader

Remind your teen that they are capable of passing the exam. They have studied the subject for many years and of course they have the ability to do it

2. suggest Regular Breaks and some exercise

Exercise is great for aiding relaxation and helping you to keep calm but during exam. Take short exercise breaks.

3. Encourage & praise them

This works better than criticism.  If your teen feels they have not done well in an exam, talk to them about what they managed, not what they missed or forgot 

4. Praise effort not result

Encourage your teen to do their best and be assured that it is the effort they make and not the result that makes the difference.  Not getting a top grade does not mean failure. Tell them that you will support them because of their effort.

5. a good night’s Sleep

Encourage your child to review their notes, get a good night’s sleep, wake up an hour earlier than usual and review the notes again. Avoid drinks with caffeine or sugar as these can interfere with sleep patterns.

6 . Ask if you can help out

Apart from feeding and watering them, can you help go over any of the main points or come up with ways to help them learn them? 

7. Become the Organiser

Keep them organised with what they need for the exam (calculators, rulers etc). Take the pressure off by being really aware of all their dates and times and have this on your family calendar. 

8. Talk it over

Confiding in someone you trust, friend, relative or parent who will listen and be supportive is a great way of reducing stress and worry.  

revision between exams tips

Take short breaks.  If students find that they are losing concentration, they should take a short break – go for a walk. They will feel refreshed and able to concentrate on revision again.  

Discourage drinking too much coffee, tea and fizzy drinks; the caffeine will make them feel ‘keyed-up’ and make thinking less clear. Try herbal teas, water or milk, 

keeping calm during exams

At exam time it is natural for adrenaline to flow. This causes some exam nerves prior to starting the exam and that can be a positive and motivating feeling. However, getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as it hinders the ability to think clearly.  Encourage your son/daughter to practice deep breathing.  The quickest and most effective way of eliminating feelings of stress and panic is to close your eyes and take deep breaths in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds. Breathing in this way calms your whole nervous system.  

Talk through what to do if your son/daughters mind goes blank.  Remember, the best thing for them to do is not to panic - it just makes it harder to recall information. Instead, focus on slow, deep breathing for about one minute. If they still can’t remember the information then they should move on to another question and return to this question later.  

Finally No Post Mortems! 

Don’t spend time holding a ‘post mortem’ into completed exams and where they may have gone wrong. Often we are our own harshest critics. Encourage them instead to congratulate themselves for the answers they feel confident about, learn from the bits where they feel they could have done better, and then move on.