Beat the Exam Stress: Useful Tips for Your Child

Posted by Shafina Jaafar on September 20, 2018

With the end of year examinations just around the corner, your child may begin to feel the pressure to perform well.

While your child may feel as if the weight of the world is on his or her shoulders, there are steps that can be taken to help deal with and conquer these feelings of anxiety.

Our 10-year-olds Share their advice

No one understands what exam stress means more than students. Watch our video below where our very own 10-year-olds share some useful tips and advice on how they manage exam stress.  

In this next section, Grace Aik, English Subject Head of TLL Tampines, shares three important and effective tips to help your child manage the pressure of exam revision.

1. Remind Your Child to Take a Break, Recharge and Charge Ahead


When preparing for the upcoming SA2s, ensuring that your child is getting enough rest is crucial to his or her ability to learn and remember. 

Studies have shown that taking a break can help your child study better as it positively affects his or her ability to focus. This in turn will help your child feel less stressed in the long run as he or she is better able to absorb the revision materials.

As a parent, you can help your child understand that systematic revision is key to academic excellence — sacrificing several hours of sleep for non-stop studying will not help him or her remember more points.

Hence, it’s not a good idea to let your child burn the midnight oil, as this is likely to work against him or her — it can affect memory recall and concentration, hampering his or her capacity for effective revision.

Instead, your child should start revising his or her work early. During revision time, do ensure that your child takes a short break every 45 minutes or so to help maintain his or her focus and concentration. 

Taking a break can be as simple as taking a few minutes to stretch, or even going for a quick walk to take in some fresh air.

The night before any big test, make sure your child gets plenty of sleep. This will allow the brain to work at its best and make memory recall much easier.

Related Article: The Science of Taking a Break

2. Have a Plan… and Ensure Your Child Sticks to It


Very often, study-related stress stems from being underprepared,  from trying to cram at the last minute, or not feeling like there is a concrete plan.

I always emphasise to my students that time management is key. Having good time management will help your child better organise his or her workload.

Your child can start with having a well-planned timetable. 

Planning an effective timetable may seem tedious at first. Don't forget to remind your child that having an effective timetable not only helps to save time in the long run but it also ensures that your child is staying on track with revision. 

This helps your child to tackle the problem of being underprepared and to avoid last minute study marathons which often result in the lack of sleep. 

At The Learning Lab, our teachers often share with their students about the recommended time they should be spending on each component or task.

In my own classes, I've noticed that over time, my students show improvement on their time management skills especially when they are attempting the mock papers — they are able to complete their papers on time and some even manage to reduce the number of mistakes they make. 

3. Build a Strong Support System for Your Child


When topical assessments and exams are used as markers of your child’s performance, it can add to his or her stress.

At times, your child’s performance in the previous exams could be hindered by poor understanding of the tested curriculum. How can you help to manage this?

Take time to sit down with your child to identify the subjects or topics he or she might need some help with. Identifying these areas of concern early will help you and your child come up with a systematic plan to improve his or her performance at the upcoming SA2.

You may like to download our English Exam Excellence guide put together by the academic team at The Learning Lab Marine Parade Central to help your child prepare for upcoming English exams more effectively.

Click here or the link below to download the guide. 

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Be sure to give your child lots of verbal encouragement. Research has proved that having a support system has many positive benefits, such as reducing anxiety. 

It is important for your child to realise that he or she is not alone knowing that you are working together with him or her will help to boost your child’s confidence and build a positive mindset while revising for the exams. 

Bonus Tip: Laugh out Loud, Literally


There have been numerous papers written on the benefits laughter can bring, including how laughing can help one manage stress and anxiety. 

Encourage your child to think of a funny moment  perhaps an inside joke was shared with his or her friends in school, or even an iconic scene from a favourite comedy show  and let out those laughs.

Finding moments of joy during the exam revision period can help your child strike a healthy balance between work and play. After all, seeking academic excellence shouldn't mean sacrificing health or happiness.

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