Exam Prep checklist for Teens

Ready to tackle those end-of-year exams? Perhaps not. That’s okay. The best way forward is to understand the hurdles. The more you understand, the more successful you are likely to be at overcoming them. Use these inclusive tips by Sharon Eshmade, a counsellor, parenting coach, teacher, author, and mum-of-a-teen with behaviour and learning difficulties, to help you confidently navigate this challenging time.

Top 10 Tips for Exam Success

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1. Understand Anxiety

Psychological fear, just like tangible danger, make us feel unsafe. When anxious, we instinctively retreat into our impulsive fight or flight prehistoric ‘monkey’ brain. So, your mind might go blank during exams.
2. Self-care is important 

When relaxed, you use your creative, problem-solving human brain to think. A quick hack to trick your brain into believing you are calm is to breathe through your nose.
3. Understand your parents

Although sometimes hard to believe, your parents love you and want the best for you too. They focus on your grades because they want you to be successful and, therefore, happy in life. Their focus is just misdirected.
4. Communicate with your Parents 

Use calm and assertive communication to be understood. Try saying, “When you shout or focus on my grades only, I feel as if you don’t care about me. Please can you tell me why you are so angry?” Asking them lots of why questions can help clarify their thinking.
5. Take responsibility

What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What do you want to achieve in your life? This is your life, so you are responsible for your success and missteps. Having clear answers to these questions can support you to find the motivation you need. If you can’t find the answers, that’s okay. Talking to the right individual to help you is important.
6. Focus on finding a balance

When not revising during this stressful time, do more of what is helpful and makes you feel good. Stop focusing on what you think you should be doing to make others happy. If others don’t understand, kindly explain.
7. Take control

Doing nothing makes anxiety worse. Prevent procrastination by setting an alarm and agreeing to do just 30 minutes of revision a day. Once you start, it’s often easier to keep going.
8. Be mindful of Your Basic Needs 

Are you getting enough sleep? Do you gently move your body for an hour a day? Are you nourishing your body with healthy food? Do you drink enough water? Are you taking healthy breaks away from a screen?
9. Facing our fears

Fear of failure keeps us trapped in not trying. If you don’t try and then fail, you remain stuck and don’t learn. See this exam process as an opportunity to determine what you do or don’t want in your life. Find and choose what is right for you. Don’t let fear limit you or your future.
10. Ask for help

If you don’t feel that you can turn to your parents, teachers, or peers for support then speak to your parents about counselling or unlimited text support. Visit me on TikTok @crashtestmummy_coach or my website at http://www.crashtestmummy.net or email me at sharoneshmade@yahoo.co.uk. My role is to be there for you and help your life be better.
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