How to keep your child motivated throughout exam season

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We’ve hit the Summer half term, and halfway through your teen’s exams. With all the stress, excitement and adrenaline involved at this time, it’s no wonder they can start to lose enthusiasm.

If your teen wants to do just as well in their last exam as their first, though, finding ways for them to stay focused will be really important. As well as staying rested and healthy, making time for some well-deserved relaxation will also help them keep their stamina up as their last exams approach. Read on for our advice on how to keep your child motivated all the way through exam season.

  1. Fun and rest
  2. Write down achievements so far
  3. Keep looking ahead
  4. Remember the relevance
  5. Plan a celebration

1. Fun and rest

If your teen’s just sat their first few exams, a gap before the next ones start is a great opportunity for them to have some down time. Without losing momentum, a day or two off from studying can help them take stock and re-energise before launching into the next phase. If they’ve been feeling stressed, they’ll be able to study more effectively if they’re rested and relaxed than if they’re strung out from tiredness. Whether it’s just a quiet day at home, an afternoon in the park with friends or a trip somewhere fun with you, some time away from their desk will do them a world of good.

2. Write down achievements so far

At around the halfway point, if your child’s feeling a bit frazzled from one exam after the other, it’s common for them to feel a loss of confidence. It’s hard to feel your best self if you’re super tired, after all. Before they spiral into crisis mode, though, if you can keep their focus on achievements they’ve already made it’ll help lots to keep them motivated. As well as listing all the exams they’ve completed, topics they found hard particularly hard but managed anyway and coursework they already handed in are all things they should feel proud of no matter what results they get. If your child has these written down somewhere, next time they feel worried, they can look at it to reassure themselves and remember they’re more than capable getting through the rest.

3. Keep looking ahead

With all the pressure to do well (to please their teachers, you, and to help their future, to name just a few reasons), teens can often panic if they feel one exam went badly. Whether it’s a question they couldn’t remember the answer to, or one of their pens ran out of ink (note – bring spare pens!), if they convince themselves they did badly, it can knock their confidence for the rest of exam season.

Even with all the facts and quotations memorised, if your child becomes convinced that they’re not good enough, it can have a negative impact on their grades. The way they look at it, though, can make a really big difference in how they approach what’s ahead. By encouraging them to focus on the exams that they’ve still to complete, they can worry less about what’s already done and instead put their energy into tackling what’s still to do. Teen’s often imagine that they’ve done much worse than they actually have, and if they can accept that what’s done is done, they’ll help themselves stay calmer and more confident.

4. Remember the relevance

If your child has always disliked a particular subject, having to revise for it and sit the exams can feel like an especially cruel punishment. Remembering how a good grade will help them in the future though, (even if the subject isn’t what they want to do) can help motivate them to give it their best shot. After all, there’s nothing better than a good grade in a subject you disliked to stop you thinking about it again.

5. Plan a celebration

After the intensity of revision and the stamina needed for exams, your teen might’ve forgotten what it’s like to let their hair down. An especially good motivator for kids in the middle of exams is having something exciting to look forward to once they’re over.

Whether it’s a family holiday, a celebratory meal or a party, imagining how fun it’s going to be can help get them through the toughest moments of revision. By talking about it as a reward for all their hard work too, it can be a more immediate motivation to do well than university places or a dream job (as funny as that sounds!).

With one-to-one tuition as well, the support, encouragement and help a tutor gives is also an excellent way to keep your teen on track. Especially if they’re on study leave and are seeing their teachers less, the attention and focus from a dedicated tutor is really effective. With MyTutor, lessons can happen at a time that suits your child, no matter where you live. Have a look or get in touch to find the perfect tutor for exams.

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