Help! My child is writing exams!


Exams rarely bring emotions of excitement... instead, feelings of dread, panic and anxiousness are what most learners and their parents experience. 

"Generation after generation, people have passed on the baton of fear anxiety and dread when it comes to exams," says director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres, Cindy Glass. These fears can range from "I can fail!" to "I may not remember everything I studied because the workload was just too much!" It is the fear of the unknown and failure. The list can go on and on.

Also read: "Fail early, fail often, fail forward": Why failing could be the best thing that's happened to your teen

Glass has 10 tips to help calm the first-time exam jitters. 

1. Parents are their child's first teacher. Set the tone at home by being mindful of how you speak about exams. Instead, refer to exams as an opportunity to learn and grow.

2. Create order! Have a designated area for your child to study.

3. Most importantly: no cellphones!

4. Establish what study material needs to be covered and how much time is needed for each study session.

5. Break the exam requirements into bite-size manageable pieces. Write down these realistic, achievable goals and place them on the wall at the study area. 

6. Tick off completed sections as you go and celebrate positive progress.

7. Encourage them to put pen-to-paper: learners are seven times more likely to remember new information when they write while studying. 

8. Tackle the more challenging tasks later. 

9. Teach your child to put in the effort to reap the rewards. 

10. Teach your child to believe in their abilities so they can overcome challenges and achieve their goals. 

Also read: A few things to consider before cheating on that exam

"It is your responsibility to set a positive, motivating environment in your home," Cindy says. Try not to impose any fears and anxieties onto your child. Be sincere and manage the fears they have with positive affirmations and by showing a sincere interest in their progress. 

How are you preparing your child for their first exams? Share your stories by emailing and we may publish your comments. 

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