‘Fight or Flight’ – Managing Exam Stress
Exams may be one of the toughest things your teen has faced thus far. The pressure that they experience during this time can visibly impact their thoughts and feelings- and can sometimes impact on your family life, too!
However, whilst you may feel tired of an increasingly grumpy or agitated teenager, there is a level of ‘good stress’ come exam time.
Our bodies are designed to ‘fight or flight.’ Therefore, when adrenaline ‘kicks in,’ your teen may feel the desire to run away from revision (or avoid doing it altogether!) In contrast, this adrenaline may actually fuel determination: it is this ‘fight’ response that is good for your teen. Nerves- to a certain extent- are healthy.
When your teen is in this position, encourage them to maximise on the feeling of ‘fight!’
When their adrenaline is rushing, they are more likely to feel alert and productive: they are more likely to take action. The days leading up to exam may well be the point at which your child starts to experience an increase in these sensations.
Acting on it
Consequently, a great way to utilise this ‘buzz of energy’ is to sign your child up to one of our Grade Booster Classes. These take place just the weekend before the exam (per subject.) This is an ideal way of your youngster being able to maximise knowledge, skill and revision right before they walk into that exam hall!
Our Grade Booster Classes are intensive: these are one-day sessions (3x 2-hour sessions,) led by experienced school teachers. Our experts will guide your teenager through all the key aspects of their SQA examinations, as well as help them to know how to maximise marks in their final exam.
By the end of the Grade Booster day, students are well-prepared, know what examiners are looking for and instantly recognise different exam question styles.
Grade Booster Classes can also be a good solution for teenagers who start showing signs of ‘flight mode’ (those wanting to ‘stop’ revision or ‘runaway’ from it at the very last minute!) For some students, as the exams get closer, their confidence wobbles and their nervousness leads to negative feelings (rather than ‘drive!’) Our classes are an excellent way of boosting your child’s confidence in those few days before the exam.
For a few teenagers, however, we need to be wary of intense levels of fear or anxiety- to the point at which it hinders productivity and success. A minority of students can experience overwhelming feelings of panic or cloudiness.
If you notice this frequently happening to your child, it’s best to seek support as soon as possible. Teachers and other professionals can help with this, or heading along to your GP might be wise if your child’s stress levels become all-consuming!
There’s no doubt that these final weeks are going to seem like a rollercoaster of emotions: the best thing you can do is encourage your teen that some stress levels are ‘normal’ and to be ‘expected.’ Watch out for any signs that worry you.
5 Tips on How to Support Your Child Through Exams