As the academic year is coming to a close and final exams are on the horizon, we thought we’d share some of MPS’ tips for handling exam stress. While exams are an integral part of the educational journey, they can also bring a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety for both learners and their parents. However, it’s essential to remember that stress is a normal part of life, and there are effective ways to manage it.

For Learners:

  1. Effective Time Management: Creating a study schedule in advance can help you stay organised and prevent last-minute cramming. Allocate specific time slots for each subject and make sure to include short breaks to avoid burnout.
  2. Break the Material into Chunks: Instead of trying to study everything at once, break your study material into smaller, manageable sections. This approach makes studying more approachable and minimises feelings of being overwhelmed.
  3. Set Realistic Goals: Define clear, achievable goals for each study session. Accomplishing these smaller objectives can boost your confidence and motivation.
  4. Practice Self-Care: Prioritise self-care during the exam season. Get enough sleep, eat well, and engage in physical activity to keep your mind and body in top condition. A healthy lifestyle directly impacts your ability to focus and retain information.
  5. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety. These practices can be particularly beneficial before and during exams.
  6. Active Learning: Engage in active learning strategies like flashcards, mind mapping, or teaching the material to someone else. Active learning promotes better retention and understanding.
  7. Seek Help When Needed: Don’t hesitate to ask for help from teachers, tutors, or peers if you’re struggling with specific subjects. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek assistance.

For Parents:

  1. Open Communication: Encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings and concerns regarding exams. Let them know that you’re there to support them, no matter what.
  2. Create a Supportive Environment: Provide a quiet, well-lit, and distraction-free study space for your child. Offer to help with any materials or resources they may need.
  3. Balance and Perspective: Emphasise that while exams are important, they are not the sole measure of their worth. Remind your child that their emotional well-being and happiness are equally vital.
  4. Stress Management Techniques: Teach your child stress management techniques like deep breathing and/or physical exercise. Share stories of how you manage stress in your own life.
  5. Encourage Breaks: Remind your child to take short breaks during study sessions. Breaks can boost productivity and help them stay focused.
  6. Celebrate Achievements: Recognize and celebrate your child’s efforts and accomplishments. This positive reinforcement can motivate them to keep striving for success.
  7. Model Resilience: Be a role model for resilience. Share your own experiences of facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Show them that setbacks are a part of life and can be opportunities for growth.

Exam stress is a common experience, but with the right planning, commitment and study strategies, learners can navigate through it successfully with parents offering the necessary crucial support. It’s important to remember that exams are just one part of the educational journey and life’s challenges but do not define a person’s worth.  Remind yourself, as often as possible, of the following – “I will not worry about what is outside my control – as through prayer and faith in God you will be able to allow Him to be fully in control of your exams, your destiny, your results”.

Keep the following verse on hand throughout your exams – Daniel 10:19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed, he said. ‘Peace! Be strong.’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’”

We hope this article can make exam periods less stressful, daunting and more manageable. In the end, what matters most is the effort and commitment in preparing for the exams, the learning experience and the growth that comes from these experiences.
All the best to our learners – our #Changemakers – for the upcoming exams.

If you would like to join the ranks of #Changemakers please fill out our enquiry form (click here) or contact MPS today.