5 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Exam Preparation

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Get Organised

When it comes to pre-exam revision make sure your child has devised a timetable, devoting time to each subject they are taking. Ensure it has frequent breaks built into it. They could revise for 45 minutes then take a 10 minute break, for example. Ensure your child has somewhere quiet to study and has all the materials they will need before they get started. That includes books and practice papers, highlighters, pens and notepaper. It’s a good idea to write revision notes on postcards so get a supply of those too.

Get Involved

You should encourage your child to discuss what they are revising and listen to them as they read their notes. Test them on what they’ve revised. If there is still something they don’t understand encourage them to speak to their teacher or even hire a private tutor to help with some focused pre-exam revision. A study group may work for some children or just revising with one other friend. They may need some help organising this and you may want to check that they are actually studying!
Talk to your child about worries they have or stress they may be feeling. Encourage a positive attitude. At this stressful time during exams make an extra effort to make your child feel nurtured, secure and confident. Provide extra attention if your child particularly needs it. Monitor their behaviour and look out for signs that they are stressed, such as irritability, difficulty sleeping, depression or negativity. Lead by example and show how you cope with a stressful situation by remaining calm and vowing to do your best.

Home life

Keep everything at home as normal as possible. Cut your child some slack when it comes to household chores; their time will be taken up with revision. Keep noise levels low and create a calm atmosphere, avoiding confrontation and family tensions where possible. Ensure there’s a good supply of healthy snacks and drinks available so breaks from revision can be used to refuel and recharge. Make sure they eat three proper meals a day, including a good breakfast to set them up. This is also important on the day of the exam. Bananas are great before an exam as they release energy slowly.


Relaxation is important at exam time. Show your child some relaxation techniques. Slow breathing can help as well as imagining themselves coping well with the exam. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep during revision time and especially the night before an exam. Exercise is a great way to relax and will give your child an opportunity to take their mind off studying and release some tension. Walking, jogging and swimming are all great.

Hire a Private Tutor

If your child is struggling with a particular subject, especially as an exam looms on the horizon, it can help to have a few sessions with a private tutor. Experienced tutors, such as those available through Fleet Tutors, will be familiar with the exams in question and will know the best ways to succeed. They can focus on how to answer specific types of questions and can even go through practice papers. It often helps just to approach a topic in a different way and a tutor can often help things ‘click’ for a child who is otherwise struggling.
Ultimately, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Help your child see that it’s not the end of the world if they can’t answer some questions or don’t do as well as expected in a particular test. Think of some fun things to do once the exams are over as a rewarded for doing their best.
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