Supporting Our G11 and G12 Students During Exam Period
By: David Nguyen, IBDP Coordinator
At BCIS, we recently started a tradition of sharing information with our community through a series titled, "Did You Know?" Staff members have begun to contribute both interesting facts and anecdotes about our school. For the fourth part of our series, Mr. David Nguyen, IBDP Coordinator, shares some tips on how parents can help their children during pressure-filled exam periods. Please read further to learn more.
It's hard to believe that our Semester One examinations are upon us already. On behalf of our G11 and G12 teachers, thank you for your support.
The IB recently sent out the following tips for families that I wanted to pass along to you.
Examination time can be stressful not only for the student faced with writing examinations, but also for family members who experience levels of anxiety and stress as they witness that family member under pressure.
Keeping calm and knowing how to offer the best support may indeed be a bit of a balancing act and sometimes difficult to get right. But through reminding your child that you are there for them and encouraging them to talk to you about their feelings, fears, and worries, you can help release some of the pressure. All of our teachers at BCIS highly encourage our students to reach out and ask for help at any time.
Student Minds, a UK based organization promoting student mental health states, "A student who is under stress needs to know that they have the support of family and friends. It's important that others should be sensitive to the extra strain they may be under, and allow them the space and time to study. Regular meals, appropriate opportunities for relaxation, and emotional support are all going to help. So is offering plenty of positive feedback, which can demonstrate your confidence in their abilities."
Here are a few tips and ideas for you to help ease exam stress at home:
- Calm: Your child may be more emotional than usual, and possibly show anger and frustration more readily. Now is not the time to take it on, so try to stay calm. Don't let these stress related outbursts escalate into an argument and try to remind yourself it's the stress being released ---it's a good thing.
- Study Space: Provide an appropriate study space so they can study and be free from distractions.
- Encouragement: Avoid setting up expectations in your child. For example, instead of telling them that you know they will do well – it might be better to tell them that you want them to try their best.
- Healthy Meals and Snacks: Provide healthy treats as they revise and do their exams. Preparing favorite meals and having the cupboards stocked with healthy snacks will let your child know you understand the pressure they are under and lets them know they are cared for and loved. Avoid offering rewards like gifts and money as it can act as an extra pressure.
- Promote Empathy: Explain to other siblings and family members to be extra empathic and supportive during the exam period, and this is the time to share little acts of kindness.