Year 12 exams can be extremely stressful for secondary students. They are right on the cusp of transitioning to the next stage of their lives and for many, this examination period can be intimidating.
The role of parents and guardians throughout exams is crucial and in order to create a learning environment that is both positive and productive, there are a number of factors worth considering.
Take a break
The practice of students locking themselves in their rooms and studying for hours on end can sometimes do more harm than good. To avoid their children burning out before they have even encountered the exam, parents should encourage them to take a break after a solid session on the books. Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat with friends, going for a run or simply switching off for a while, students can benefit from breaking up their day.
Have a study schedule
By mapping out a distinct plan for how to approach studying for each subject, students can identify the areas on which they need to spend the most time. Parents should emphasise the importance of creating a schedule and sticking to it, which is traditionally a more productive method than taking a sporadic approach to studying. The likelihood of a student spending an hour reviewing chemistry notes will increase if there is a clearly defined period for the task.
Lose the phone
Smartphones are wonderful inventions but they also have the capacity to be huge distractions when trying to study. Confiscation is not the answer but parents do have a responsibility to make sure their child is spending more time revising than scrolling through social media newsfeeds. A better way to go about it is to suggest strategies to reduce the use of phones while studying, perhaps by switching the device off until the next break or using it only for productive means, such as listening to subject-relevant podcasts.
Getting enough sleep
Being well-rested is key to performing well in exams and the best way to achieve is to get plenty of sleep. While many students attempt to cram as much as possible the night before an exam, the reality is that this can be counter-productive, as they won’t be absorbing as much information if they are feeling tired and rundown. Parents need to relay this message and stress the importance of getting eight hours sleep.
This score does not define you
Above all else, it is imperative for parents to remind their children that their final score is not the most important thing in the world. As much as you want them to do their best, a student’s exam results do not define them as a person and if they do not receive the score they anticipated, there are alternative pathways to get into the course or career they wish to pursue.