Exam season is an intense time for students, so we’ve got some handy tips to help you support the young people in your life with revision tips and how to manage their stress (and yours).

Revision tips

Wondering how to make your home the ideal revision headquarters? Here are our top tips to support the student in your life in the run-up to their exams. 

  1. Make a timetable: A routine for studying is really important; try to help work out which subjects are the hardest, and allocate time accordingly. It’s also vital to ensure that this timetable is achievable, and not a straight 10 hours a day revising with no breaks.
  2. Create the right environment: Whether the student in your life has a desk in their room, the corner of the lounge, on the dining table or in a shed at the bottom of the garden, they need a study space that will help them get in the zone. You can easily get second-hand desks and chairs on Facebook Marketplace, and painting an old desk can be a fun way to make it their own (and provides a creative break from studying!).
  3. Help with testing: Offer to help with practice tests, flashcards and quizzes. Sometimes this can be the best way to identify knowledge gaps.
  4. Try different revision methods: Reading through those big textbooks not cutting it? Why not try YouTube, or podcasts. Or, get creative and try some visual revising in the form of spider diagrams. You might need to get used to Post-Its all over the house, but if it works, it works.
  5. Take the pressure off: Try to take the pressure off. A lot of young people feel pressure from their families to pass exams and do well, so if you make it clear that you’re proud no matter what, it can help ease off some of that stress so they can focus on revision and not the outcome of their exams.
  6. Have some rewards up your sleeve: Everyone loves a treat, right? Having a day out at the weekend to look forward to, or even a couple of biscuits and a cuppa after finishing a practice essay question, can be a great way to break up revision and feel like it’s all worth it.
  7. Sleep routine: Your teen might think that staying up all hours, especially the night before their exams, is a good way to cram in extra revision time, but if they’re tired they won’t be up to their full potential. Encourage sleep hygiene and a good routine before bed.
  8. Fuel the brain: Along with sleep, the right nutritious food and plenty of water is the best way to set your student up for success. The odd treat is fine as a reward, but try to supplement that with greens like spinach and kale for those all important vitamins and minerals, oats in the morning for a slow release of energy, and fish for Omega-3s.
  9. Breaks: When putting together a timetable, make sure there are lots of breaks. This keeps the mind sharp and more likely to take in all that information.

The Pomodoro Technique

Why not suggest your child tries the Pomodoro Technique?

It involves 25-minute stretches of revision or study, followed by a five-minute break. After four stretches of 25-minute study, take a 15-30 minute break.

This is proven to help with focus, and breaks down tasks to feel much more attainable.

Managing exam stress

So, you’ve got the revision part down, but what’s the best way to deal with the inevitable stress that comes with this time of year? We’ve got a few ideas to bring a sense of calm. 

  • Schedule time for relaxing activities: Figure out the calming method that works – breathing exercises, yoga, a walk, music, podcasts, and make sure your teen is making time for these activities so they can unwind.
  • Make fun plans: Much like the rewards during revision time, having plans to look forward to is a great stress-buster for exam season. Even a dedicated time to watch your favourite film together with some popcorn is a welcome distraction!
  • Comparison is the thief of joy: Remind them not to compare themselves to their peers. Everyone is different, and everyone succeeds in their own way. Just because their friend has done a TikTok revising in the library doesn’t automatically mean they’ll get a higher grade.
  • Communicate: Keep communication open so they know they can talk to you if they need to. For a lot of teens, this is the first time in their lives that they will feel this sort of stress and pressure, so mental health is a priority.
  • Understand the options: Make sure you and your teen understand all the options so that exams don’t seem like the be all and end all; this will reduce the pressure on the situation and help relieve some of that stress.