Tips For Kids in Dealing With Exams

exam2I must confess to being quite overwhelmed when sitting for exams. I often froze and perhaps occasionally sabotaged a few times by allowing the mental demons to overcome me.

I hope these tips help others to manage their exam stresses:


Dr Friedland explains that in order to fail forward, people need to learn from their so-called failures and use them as stepping stones to future success.

“I’d advise students to throw away all thoughts of a number and change their definition of success, so instead they strive to give their studies their all and know they’re going to walk away having learned something,” he says.

“Don’t be driven by self-esteem. Instead let yourself have some self-compassion. Look after yourself, treat yourself well – success comes from that.”

Encourage them to look at the bigger picture

Ask a student to identify the most important thing they hope to achieve from an exam, assessment or the academic year, and they’ll say a good mark.

Dr Friedland admits it can be hard for young people to see the wood for the trees because getting a good score can seem like the most important thing in the world – their defining achievement.

He advises parents to gently help their kids see how other aspects of their life are important and he alludes to that oft-quoted mantra that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

“Encourage them to reflect on what truly matters in their life. Help them see that getting a great big number won’t necessarily lead to happiness and fulfilment, but the process of trying to get it might if they’re learning along the way and also nourishing themselves,” he says.

“Going into an exam with a ‘do or die’ attitude is counter-productive. The stress will become overwhelming and few people can thrive if they’re feeling like that. Give each exam the importance it deserves in the whole bigger picture.

“We all need to focus on taking care of ourselves – mind, body and soul.”

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