What we often hear from parents is “What’s the best way to support my child through end-of-year exams?”
Every child will be different, so there are no hard and fast rules here. As parents it’s important to regularly check-in and ask your child how they think they’re going. Encouraging them to balance study with sleep and exercise will help set them up for success.
It can be tempting to take over and want to organise their entire study schedule for them. This undermines their own capacity to manage their time and priorities. Sitting down with your teen after they have created their study schedule and talking it through is a great way to help them set realistic expectations.
Where parents can really support their teen is by ensuring they prioritise their self-care and maintaining balance in their life. Helping them create a routine that involves specific times for exercise, meals, and downtime each day is highly effective. If you have the capacity to interact with them during these times by cooking and sharing a meal with them, getting outside, and doing some exercise together it can assist enormously with managing stress. If you notice your teen struggling, make sure you access help as soon as you can. USC has some great resources available through its Health & Wellbeing support services.
In terms of practical study tips for your teens, we asked current USC students to provide their exam tips.
- Ensure you get a good night sleep the night before
- If your exam is in the morning, wake up early and ensure you are wide awake (take a walk if needed)
- Eat a good breakfast
- Avoid last minute cramming
- Avoid the pre-exam buzz in the room
- Listen carefully to the supervisor’s instructions
- Read through the entire exam before you start to write
- Circle or highlight the key words in questions
- Answer the easy questions first
- Hand in rough work too
- When you have finished, take a break (if time permits) then re-read your work for any errors or omissions
- Cross out work rather than using white-out as it is faster
- Attempt all questions