It’s that time of the year again! Parents all over are walking around with concerned faces and putting their social lives on hold; it’s EXAM TIME!

Exam time can be a nerve wracking experience for both parents and children. Parents can help by creating a stable, supportive environment. With enough practice and preparation your child will feel equipped and ready, encourage your child to start preparing well in advance to avoid unnecessary stress. Exams are not just a way to assess a child’s knowledge, it could also help to prepare your child for adulthood. Learning from errors and mistakes, setting solid goals, putting self-discipline into practice and learning how to push through and put immediate need gratification on hold for a bit, learning how to handle the unknown in an academic setting as well as dealing with unexpected failures and disappointments are all a part of the exam process, as well as valuable experiences for adult life. Experiencing the triumph of good results due to hard work and effort, reaping the rewards of the effort put in, is just as valuable in teaching them about life.

One of the biggest mistakes we as parents can ever make, is making our children feel that our love for them and our acceptance of them depends on academic achievement. Your child needs to know that,no matter what, they are enough. It’s so easy to compare our children with other kids and setting our expectations of them, based on other children’s achievements and capabilities. Don’t do this – every child differs and you need to help your child understand that his/her best really is good enough. Praise best effort, not high marks!

As students; it all starts with how you think, think positively about yourself as well as the coming exam. Create a predictable and calm environment where you can prepare for the exam. Try to study at the same place everyday, so that there are no new distractions at the start of every study session. Try to get rid of all distractions and make your study space as comfortable as possible. Ensure that you have enough light, fresh air and a comfortable chair before you start. Understand that getting started is the most difficult part.

 Tips for the coming exam:

  • Prepare yourself psychologically.
  • Don’t focus on the top of the mountain; take one step at a time.
  • Give yourself enough time to study, set a timetable and keep to it.
  • Sleep is very important.
  • One that is rested and relaxed accomplishes more in an hour than a tired and stressed all-day-worker.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Eat healthy nutritious foods such as fish, nuts, blueberries and yogurt remember to drink plenty of water.
  • Start your day with a proper breakfast followed by regular meals and healthy snacks to keep your energy levels stable.
  • You’re best is good enough!! It is not only about the end result!
  • And most importantly, remember that “this too will pass”, so give it your best effort!

 Good luck!