MyTutor for Parents

The night before an exam: A parent checklist

The night before an exam can be a nail-biting time for your teen. They’ve spent ages revising, and now the big day is *so* close. As a parent, you want to help them relax so that when they’re in the exam hall, they feel their absolute best. 

And so, here are 6 ways you can support them the night before an exam.  

☑️ Make sure they eat something

A healthy, balanced dinner will help set them up for the big day. And if they’ve got no appetite–which can happen with exam nerves– give them healthy snacks through the evening. Snacks like carrots and hummus, fruit skewers, and light carbs will give them the fuel they need. And if you’ve got the time, it can be a nice treat for your teen to have their favourite meal. 

☑️ Remind them to pack their school bag

Having everything ready to go will make the morning run much smoother. They can pack their packs the night before: black pens, rulers, calculators, water bottles, snacks– whatever they need for their exam. You can ask them to put their own checklist together so they’re sure they’ve got everything. They should set out their clothes too. Even with a uniform, it’s better to have it all laid out–everything down to their socks so there’s no last minute panic!

☑️ Help them switch off

Some teens just can’t pull themselves away from revising and carry on till the last minute. If they want to keep working at it the night before their exam, make sure their revision is light. They can revise with flashcards, or look over cheat sheets. But practising a whole exam paper might be overkill and make them feel anxious instead of calm.

When they’ve done all the studying they can do, they just need to chill out. Whether that means watching their favourite show, or soaking in the bath– encourage them to relax.

☑️ Give them lots of encouragement

Teens– like the rest of us, want to feel understood. So telling them that you know exams are hard will help them feel supported. Let them know you’re proud of all the work they’ve put into revising, too. And that no matter what happens– they should feel proud of what they’ve achieved. Have some fun with a mini celebration after each exam. A small treat like ice cream or a trip to the cinema can really boost their mood.

☑️ Make sure they get an early night

We all know that sleep is important, but we still stay up! To get a good night’s sleep, encourage your teen to stay off their screens for 1-2 hours before bed. And if they just can’t part with their phones, have them switch off the blue lights in their settings. They’ll know sleep is important before an exam, so they won’t put up a fight. But if they’re worried about tomorrow they might toss and turn all night. To help them relax and drift off, have them try meditation or listen to a sleep story.  

☑️ Try and relax too

Exams aren’t just a stressful time for teens. As a parent, you’re worried about your child, and want the very best for them. But teens can easily tell when their parents are stressed–which only adds to their own anxiety! So if you can, chill out– watch a show with them, put on some relaxing music, light some scented candles. And remember that you’re both doing your best.

With support and encouragement, your teen can go into that exam hall, feeling confident–and ready to smash it!

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