Dear Mummies & Daddies,
Have you seen your child cringe at the sight of examinations?
The weeks before examinations are extremely crucial in determining a student’s performance in his or her final examination.
Weaker students know that this is their last chance to catch up and stronger students cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal. Regardless of the abilities of the student, he or she is likely to experience stress.
Have you ever wondered what stress can do to your child?
Stress has several harmful impacts on a person’s emotional and physical well-being. These effects also have adverse effects on a student’s performance in examinations. Thus, it is fundamental for a student to learn how to overcome stress.
Here are SEVEN steps for your child to cope with stress in order to be better prepared for examinations:
Step 1: Set Realistic Expectations
Students should always start off with setting realistic expectations prior to their examinations.
Before every final examination, there will be a series of tests or a preliminary examination which will give them an accurate estimation of their abilities. It is extremely essential for students to set realistic expectations and not overestimate or underestimate themselves.
Giving themselves too high and unachievable goals will bring about unnecessary levels of stress, especially when students realise that expectations cannot be met midway through their revision.
On the other hand, setting too low standards for themselves will cause students to miss out on the opportunity of maximising their full potential. This is because students will often prepare according to what they are aiming for.
For example, if a student lowers his/ her expectations, it is very likely that he or she will skip tackling more challenging problems. Hence, it is important to set practical targets.
Pro Tip: Set realistic expectations before examinations.
Step 2: Avoid Procrastination
As the old adage goes, “Procrastination is the biggest thief of time.”
Most students have the propensity to procrastinate and only panic when examinations are nearing. It is in human beings to only react when we feel a sense of urgency or fear.
Panic, last minute studying is the most futile way of learning, especially for Science subjects which require students to understand concepts and apply them to questions to answer properly.
In addition, during this period of time, students are likely to face massive levels of stress when they realise that they are way behind schedule.
Pro Tip: To avoid these, start early.
Step 3: Strike A Good Balance
Everyone only has 24 hours a day.
It is impossible for anyone to study every single hour in a day because learning is a process which requires utmost concentration.
After prolonged periods of effective learning, it is likely that our brains will eventually reach a point of saturation and are unable to absorb information with the same efficiency.
Students who continue to study after this point will often scare themselves when nothing goes in.
Pro Tip: Your child should strike a good work life balance, take a break and relax after long intervals of intensive revision.
Step 4: Design A Realistic Study Plan
This is the most important step in this article.
It puts into paper everything in the aforementioned 3 points:
- The amount of work that has to be covered in the study plan should correspond with the realistic expectations that students set for themselves.
- With a realistic study plan which states the amount of work that has to be covered daily, a student will experience a sense of urgency. Hence, it is unlikely that they will procrastinate.
- Lastly, a study plan should include leisure activities in order to establish a good balance.
Pro Tip: Use a study plan to organise your child’s life.
Step 5: Lead A Healthy Lifestyle
Studies have shown that regular exercises improve memory, concentration, and mental sharpness.
It also releases endorphins which make us happy.
In addition, instead of eating unhealthy junk food in an attempt to overcome stress, students should consume healthy food as it will be detrimental if they fall sick during this critical period.
It is also fundamental for students to adjust their body clock and sleep normal hours because good sleep in proper hours enables one to remember and retain everything learned.
Pro Tip: By exercising, eating clean and sleeping well collectively, your child will be in an optimized mood for conducive learning.
Step 6: Talk To Someone
When students experience stress, they should not bottle everything up.
It is important to let loose and share their problems with friends, teachers and family members.
When faced with challenges, it is difficult for a person to see the big picture and their common sense may get clouded due to stress.
Pro Tip: It is important for your child to talk to someone who can enlighten him/ her and help put things into perspective.
Step 7: Visualize Success
Lastly, studying day and night daily may be a process which may seem endless and disheartening to most students.
It is indeed a long and tiring process. Many students tend to lose drive and give up halfway.
Pro Tip: To prevent such incidents from occurring, students should visualize success to motivate themselves when faced with challenges.
The aforementioned tips are useful guides a student can follow to move faster in examinations.
However, these tips are merely a blueprint to success.
Executing this blueprint is much more difficult than one can imagine.
Essentially, after drawing up the study plan, a student still has to demonstrate perseverance and composure in order to achieve the desired achieve academic success.