Updated: Aug 5
We share some advice on how to keep things calm at home during exam season.
It sure is a stressful time for students, what with so much on their plates right now. Managing revision schedules, pencilling in tutoring sessions, attempting past papers and sifting through syllabuses – it’s all part of that exam time madness! Luckily, students have lots of people to help them through: teachers, tutors and parents alike will be on standby over the next few weeks to offer some much needed help and support.
But exam season can be stressful for parents, too. From wishing the best for your children to succeed, to watching them in the height of stress and anxiety, this period of the academic year can be a difficult one for parents as they battle trying to keep their kids calm and on the right track to ace their exams, while trying to remain calm themselves!
We’ve talked a lot about students and tutors in the past, so we thought it would be a good idea to think about all of the mums and dads out there who might be worrying about exam season, and attempt to give them a bit of advice on how to manage what is unarguably a challenging time.
When exams are around the corner, this usually means a house full of anxious, angsty and tearful teens – or at least, it did in my house (sorry, mum and dad). If you’re a parent, it’s hard not to feel equally anxious while trying to act as a supportive figure. One way of defusing some of the angst within your children (and consequently, within yourself!) is by actively promoting breaktime in revision schedules.
I always found that I was most stressed as a student when I bit off more than I could chew during revision sessions, because it made me feel like I could never get everything done in time – even when I could have done so if I had covered the same amount of tasks in more digestible, spaced out chunks, rather than all in one go. My parents helped me de-stress by suggesting I take a break for a while, and then come back to the revision and re-assess once I had had time to calm down. Sometimes they may have even forced me to watch an episode of Ugly Betty or two. It worked like a charm, and we were all less stressed as a result!
Remember also that self-care applies to people of all ages. Just because you have to look after someone else, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to look after yourself! You shouldn’t feel guilty treating yourself to a long bubble-bath, or a trip to the theatre, or a glass of wine after dinner. Taking time to make sure you’re feeling zen means that you’ll be more than prepared to meet any bumps in the exam term road with a clear head. Plus, with any hope your newly peaceful aura will radiate a positive influence onto your children, who will see the virtue of treating themselves fairly while trying to achieve success.
However, arguably the hardest thing about exam time is knowing that ultimately the outcome of it all is outside of your control – at the end of the day, it’s your child that will be sitting the exam. Sure, parents can provide help, support, and advice, but the student will need to put it all into practice when they come to be assessed.
Instead of worrying about how things will pan out when your child is left to their own devices in the exam and unable to take any more help and advice, think about this as one of your child’s first opportunities to step out and attempt something independently. Even if the exam doesn’t go well, at least your child will have had a great opportunity to really tackle something relying only on themselves – in this way, exams act as one of your child’s first stepping stones on the way to becoming a well-rounded, self-sufficient and confident individual! And that is an unmitigated success.
By extension, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s the student being assessed, not you. The student’s grades are not a direct reflection of your parenting! So don’t feel too down if your child doesn’t achieve the grade they were aiming for – all students take things at their own pace, and there will be so many opportunities ahead for them to excel at. If they need you to give them a few pointers, then you can always be there to give them out.
All of the parents out there who are already seasoned pros at dealing with exam term probably have many more tips and tricks to add to the list – so why not let us know about them? We’d love to hear how you cope with the season and your children’s exam prep, so sound off in the comments!
Blog Post Crafted by Madeleine
Madeleine runs our Admin Team. Despite the fact that she read Japanese at university, Madeleine’s main passion in life is opera and she hopes to become the next Maria Callas some day...
Madeleine manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.