Staying cool under exam pressure


Staying cool under exam pressure

"I agree that exam has its own pressure, but not in my dictionary, no exam no pressure there is only one word and that is of happiness" -Rishad Sakhi

For some children, the exam period is an extremely stressful and anxious time! Stress can reduce the efficiency of exam performance. But did you know that, as a parent, you can help your child stay cool during exam period by preparing him deal with such stress?

All you need to do is prepare his body and mind...

Prepare his body:

- Having a balanced diet is essential: proper nutrition plays a critical role to give your child's body the energy it needs to function during a test.

- Drinking lots of water: the brain is one of the most important organs in the body that needs to be kept hydrated in order to be fueled. Its function depends on having abundant access to water. When your child's brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, it will be able to think faster and be more focused.

- Make sure your child is having enough sleep: especially during the week before and during the exam period, let your child go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to energize his body so he can perform at its peak level.

- Encourage your child to engage in a physical activity during exam period: according to scientists, exercise releases beta-endorphin, a natural substance in the body that enhances emotional well-being and improves energy level.

Prepare his mind:
"The greatest weapon against stress is out ability to choose one thought over another"
- Encourage positive self-talk: teach your child to think in a positive way by using these positive affirmations everyday: "I always do my best", "I believe in me", "I can do anything", "I am proud of my efforts", "Good things happen to me all the time". Etc...

- Develop positive images: train your child to spend 5 minutes each day imagining doing the exam, feeling calm, relaxed, well-prepared and confident, answering questions with ease.

- Allow your child to be aware of his emotion: Help your child to take notice of his state of mind and thoughts by being aware of the feelings and emotions he is experiencing at a certain moment; Explain that emotional life is not dangerous and is part of human nature. It is true that we cannot choose to sense certain feelings (stress, frustration, joy, anger, sadness…) however we can choose the way to cope and react to those feelings.

-Encourage your child to notice and name his feelings: Noticing and naming feelings can increase your child self-awareness of what is happening within and can support him to respond better to hard situations. You can encourage your child to build an emotional vocabulary by giving him labels for his core feelings. Core feelings include angry, sad, scared, peaceful, powerful and joyful…

- Give your child’s mind some space:   maintaining  focus while improving both mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress by focusing on other activities as well, such as hobbies, reading, gaming…

In conclusion, exam pressure is created by both the parent and the child, remember to stay cool and be prepared in regards to covering the study material, and not forgetting what to bring to the exam session. Remind your child to start with the questions he is more confident about, to carefully read the instructions and to use time effectively and not to stress if his classmates presented their papers first.

The best thing your child can do in an exam situation is to control self and give his best in the exam. In this situation remember this line:

“Always remember that this is not the end of your life.. It's just that your road to success might become slightly easier if you perform well. But even if you don't, you'll find success one way or another.”

Enjoy your week !!

Oh! one more thing, please make sure to celebrate!! The finals, the end of a fruitful year of leaning and progress :)

Haifa Dada
Youth, Parent and Family Coach

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About the Author
Linda Chaccour is a passionate Life Strategist and Happiness Coach, a Certified Youth, Parent and Family Coach, and the founder of Emerge Coaching in UAE and in Lebanon. A graduate of the NeuroLeadership Group, the World Coach Institute, and the Robbins-Madanes Training school (RMT), Linda has had the honor of being trained by the International Coach Federation and the motivational guru and success coach, Anthony Robbins.