Thursday, May 25, 2006

Helping your teen cope with exam pressure - RM column May 4

THE SUN is starting to shine, there is a warmth in the air, so it can only mean exam time again.

Luckily the Young Wan has a year to go before the start of her first ever official exams but her summer class tests are coming up and as far as I can see no studying has been done yet at all.

She is under that commonly held notion that the night before cramming will be enough at this stage of her academic career.. And maybe it would if the scholar in question had paid ultra attention in classes during the year and did the best homework in the world.

I doubt somehow this to be the case.

The first thing we, and I mean we if I leave it to herself it will not happen, need to do is draw up a study timetable. I have asked for this to be done for weeks and weeks and there is still no sign of it.

The Leaving Cert and Junior Cert to some degree are probably one of the more stressful times in your teen’s young life so far and as parents we can do so much to alleviate this stress.

I know people who have dreams, or should I say nightmares, of being back in that exam time when they are having a particularly stressful period in their grown-up life.

The stress of these exams can be bad enough without feeling unprepared, never mind the stress of knowing you should be studying but aren’t.

Paths in life can be decided by the outcome of exams. And while poor results is far from the end of the world, there are so many more options open to you if you are prepared.

So revision is the key and sometimes revision is not always as easy as having done the work in the first place.

One of the biggest problems I can see in our household is the studying of the subjects that she likes and is good at.

Despite explaining to herself that she would probably be better off spending time on the subjects that she finds tougher, the reliable favourites are the ones she likes.

Among the ways parents can help their child is to help them organise their workspace and their notes. Encourage them to study for an hour and then take a 10 minute break.

Rest is also very important during this time so get them to bed early as much as you can.

For subjects like English where they have to learn poems and quotations, help them dictate them on a tape so they can play them back while sleeping. I don’t know if this works but it would be worth a try.

Parents can also be invaluable by offering to help test their child’s knowledge and there are countless other resources which can also help test your child such as the internet, libraries, friends, revision guides and past papers.

I suppose the bottom line to tell your teenager facing exams is do not worry and just try your best. Doing their best, what more could a parent ask for?

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Jasonmark said...

Hi-An exam stress resource- jason

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