Exam season is almost here with many GCSE and A Level exams starting in earnest straight after the May half term break. My house is awash with emotions and as a mum of an 18 year old taking A Levels we are walking on eggshells and in a constant state of anxiety. However there is help at hand with Rescue Remedy for kids. Our young people deal with more testing and assessments than any generations have before. As parents, we need to help prepare and support them in this process.
They have already managed SAT’s, entrance exams and a constant assessment model which see’s them lurch from one set of data to another. My daughter’s bedroom is currently decorated with mind maps and quotes as she attempts to learn countless case studies and examples for her three subjects.
RESCUE REMEDY® has teamed up with the director of the Stress Management Society, Neil Shah, to provide the following tips on how to keep on top of the exam period, while remaining calm and focused:
- Manage your study time: it is important to schedule your work. Draw up a balanced and realistic revision schedule and stick to it. Studying for long periods of time will not benefit you in the long term as human brains can only maintain concentration for 90 minutes at one time. Have regular breaks and schedule time to do the things you enjoy. Also, be aware of when you work best; some people prefer studying early in the morning and others prefer to stay up late. When are you most productive? I have actually made a FREE revision timetable which you can download via this link Revision Timetable.
- Stop comparing yourself to others; adopt a revision technique that works for you: Everyone has a different approach to revision. Choose your own method and find the revision style that suits you. Some examples are: revising alone in a quiet room, revising with a friend, going to the library, playing music in the background, working on the computer and so on.
- Manage your study space: Avoid technology, television or social media when you are studying. Keep your study room clean and clear to avoid distractions.
- Keep a healthy lifestyle: Eat right and don’t skip any meals, especially breakfast. Good nutrition fuels your brain as well as your body. Also, make sure you keep hydrated as your brain can only function at its best when hydrated. When in a state of stress, our bodies are expecting a physical response – fight or flight. Engaging in physical activity such as short walks in the park, going to the gym or simply some stretching is the best way to burn off your stress and regain focus.
- Get support: If you find that you are feeling stressed, allow yourself a break to spend some time with your relatives or your friends. Some social interaction will take your mind off revision for a while and give you a mental break. You can then go back to revision feeling re-energised and focused. Also, don’t be afraid to get some help. Teaching is often the best way of learning; why not try to teach/present different topics to different friends?
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Don’t sacrifice a good night’s sleep for a night cramming your revision. Every student has been tempted to do or has done this but it is a false economy. The temptation may be to stay up late and use every hour available to revise if you are really conscientious or cram for the night before an exam if you are last minute. Cramming is a poor revision strategy and not getting enough sleep can hinder your concentration, mood, memory and judgement. Sleep is so important to maintain good mental and physical health. It is natures healer; the opportunity for your brain and body to repair themselves from the stresses of the day and build and develop for the future. Don’t be tempted to forego it!
You could even take a tin of RESCUE Pastilles into the exam room with you. The pleasant-tasting Pastilles come in Elderflower & Orange or Blackcurrant flavour in a handy snap-fast tin.
Do let me know what else works for you when trying to manage your nerves before exams.