How Teachers Can Help With Exam Period

Exams are tough on students, many of whom will suddenly embark on  late (or all-night) night cram sessions, unhealthy eating habits, over-doses of caffeine, not to mention extremely high levels of anxiety and stress routines. These types of situations are stressful for everyone and it's important that we encourage a healthy and rewarding lifestyle - especially as it benefits the pupil. As test season hots up, we have a range tips and resources to help you ensure your students keep cool....

Offer Support – Before and After the Exam

Take time to remind them that their entire future does not depend on one particular exam and you know that they worked to achieve the best possible grade and it’s not the end of the world if their score isn't what they hoped for. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, so find out if there is particular topics that your students would like to go over. Offering a few after school sessions or lunch time drop ins are also a great way of your pupils asking questions or talking about their worries. Whatever your way of thinking, make sure they know there's support available.

Sleep (and sign off Facebook)

For many youngsters, social media may be seen as a way to escape reality and forget about the revision that looms over them, however it can also be extremely detrimental. Ensuring that everyone understands that sleep is an important factor to consider should be at the top of your list. Yes it may seem obvious but teenagers (and ourselves) can find it super easy to spend hours at bedtime pointlessly scrolling through Facebook, resulting in late nights and tiresome mornings.

Make plans to manage their time

Get creative with time management and introduce the best techniques for revision.

1. EAT THAT FROG - Complete your most challenging and unpleasant task first

2. GETTING THINGS DONE - Gather all tasks, big, small, educational, personal in one place and clarify that they are all achievable.

3. PROCRASTINATION IN PERIODS - Create periods of intense focus (timer for 25 minutes) + five-minute breaks = better concentration.

Chill out, try these relaxation techniques

It sounds a little crazy but a bit of meditation in the middle or end of an exam could help your students to concentrate. We've all had times where our minds have gone blank and the panic sets in, your palms are sweaty, your legs have gone wobbly and you feel like the next two hours are pointless... So it's time to 'de-stress'. 1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. 2. Place your hand on your stomach. 3. Focus on positive thoughts. 4. Ignore any distracting thoughts. 5. Inhale through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat until calm... Pick up the pen.

Pair up with the Parents

Out of everyone that may worry, parents will always and forever be at the top of that list. They want their children to achieve and believe in themselves - whilst staying positive and looking after their bodies (which can be pretty tricky). Send out revision tips that they can help with and suggest certain sites with printable past papers on. Encourage positive reinforcement and banish the 'yeah but I'm going to fail anyway' line, let them know when all of the ecams are and what the children will need so that everyone can feel prepared and ready together and nothing is forgotten.

Use Mobile Apps

Since teens dedicate so much time to their phones and tablets these days, it's a great idea to connect revision via apps, so recommend the following...

1. Tutor Videos is made by teachers and is a fantastic revision App packed with guides, videos & interactive practice tests for your GCSE, AS-Level, A2-Level & 11 plus subjects.

2. iMindMap is a clever workspace for brainstorming ideas, note-taking and can condense huge essays into little bite size chunks.

3. EverNote Peek is a revision app that is exclusive to ipads;  it uses revision notes (made on EverNote) in order to quiz users on what they've learnt so far from their revision - bingo!

Dark chocolate

You better believe it! Dark chocolate (not the sugary, creamy, milky kind) is a fantastic brain food that contains magnesium which helps you de-stress, and it also stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin, making you feel good and heightening your mood.  The small amount of caffeine is great for concentration and focus whilst offering plenty of antioxidants! Grab plenty of bars and offer a few squares to each pupil as a treat, incentive, and confidence booster before or even after exams.

Whatever techniques you choose, we wish you and all of your pupils the best of luck!