From SATS through to degree exams, managing exam stress can feel like a constant battle and will affect some learners more than others.
However, there are things you can do to help alleviate this stress and feel more calm and confident about achieving your goals.
One of the most stressful aspects of pending assessments can be feeling unsure about what you need to know and how to map out a path to get there. It’s a good idea to have conversations as soon as possible with teachers to seek clarity on what you need to be able to do by a certain date. Working with a private tutor can also be helpful as a tutor can help you to navigate this and liaise with teachers to assist you in planning ahead for exams.
Looking at the end goal can feel much more daunting than just getting on with the next step. There are practical ways to approach this. For example, looking at a revision guide or mark scheme with the help of a parent or private tutor so you can see the big picture and start to see where your knowledge already fits in that and where the gaps are. This then allows you to be strategic about tackling each topic or module one at a time and in a timely way. Importantly, it can also avoid last minute cramming which is a known trigger for more extreme exam stress reactions.
A supportive home environment where there is a holistic approach to success, self worth and achievement is really important. There is a lot that parents can do in terms of encouraging and helping their children to see exams as one part of a wider learning experience in life. Overly high or unrealistic expectations can put undue pressure on children, which can actually have the opposite affect and cause children to withdraw and have reduced confidence and thereby not fulfil their true potential in assessments.
To summarise, exams are unavoidable but the stress of them can be avoided or at least minimised. If you need further help managing exam stress you can look into appointing a private tutor to help you manage the load.