Tips for Year 12 parents during the HSC exams
As Year 12 students finish school this week to begin their preparations for the HSC exams, here are some tips on how parents and carers can help their daughters during this time:
1. Watch out for exam stress
Look out for signs of exam stress. Your daughter may be irritable, not sleep well, lose interest in food, worry more than usual or appear negative or depressed. Headaches and stomach pains can also be stress-related. Having someone she can to talk about her concerns may help. Support from a parent, relative or friend can help your daughter to stay calm and keep things in perspective.
2. Encourage your daughter to eat well
A balanced diet is vital for your daughter's health and can help her feel well and perform at her best. Whilst the occasional treat is fine, too many high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine foods and drinks can make your daughter irritable and moody and affect her ability to concentrate. Encourage her to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and drink lots of water.
3. Develop a study routine
Research shows that studying for shorter periods of one to two hours with regular breaks is more effective than marathon study sessions. Also, breaking big subjects down into manageable sections and using a variety of study techniques, can help your daughter to feel more confident and in control.
4. Get some exercise
Encourage your daughter to be active during her study and exam period. Swimming, cycling or even a quick walk around the block could easily be fitted into her schedule. Exercise can help boost energy levels, clear the mind, relieve stress and help retain the information she has revised.
5. Sleep helps exam performance
Good sleep will improve your daughter’s thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need between eight and 10 hours' sleep a night. Encourage your daughter to wind down for half an hour between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed, to help her get a good night's sleep. Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your daughter far more than hours of anxious, last-minute study.
6. Provide a calm environment
Make home life as calm and pleasant as possible during the exam study period. Encourage siblings and other family members to give your daughter some space and reduce unnecessary noise and distractions.
7. Be flexible at exam time
Try to be flexible around exam time. When your daughter is revising during the day, don't worry about untidy bedrooms or household jobs that may be left undone. Staying calm yourself can also help. Remember, exams don't last forever and your daughter’s overall well-being is more important during this time.
8. Discuss any exam nerves
Remind your daughter that feeling nervous is normal. Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams, but the key is to put these nerves to positive use. Reminding her of what she does know and the time she has put into study can help her feel more confident.
9. Don't add to exam pressure
Be reassuring and positive before an exam and don’t dwell on your daughter’s final mark or future study goals. After each exam, encourage your daughter to talk it through with you. Then move on and focus on the next exam, rather than on things that can't be changed.
10. Be kind to yourselfCelebrate in the joy and satisfaction of having successfully helped your daughter complete her high school education and become the wonderful young woman she is.