Nerves are Normal

Coeducation is education for life. Naturally

Worried and sad student online

“Exams”: a word that can strike fear and traumatic flashbacks into the heart of even the most confident of us! We all remember them, and the doubts, the fears, the hopes and the nervous anticipation that went along with them. All Saints’ College is pleased to present a five-part series that focuses on exams, with some tips for parents and students on how best to manage what can be a challenging time.

It is important that we talk about exam nerves with our child, that we let our teens know that nerves are a normal part of the exam experience and that a few nerves actually prepare them to perform at their best!

However, if our child’s nerves are too strong and are interrupting their ability to focus, it might be time to consider some quick and simple relaxation exercises. A relaxation exercise such as deep breathing is a great starting point and is easily achievable prior to, and during, exams to regroup and continue.

Simple and effective ways that your teen can alleviate their exam nerves:

  1. Taking some deep breathes – this allows our young person to realign and sync their breathing.
  2. Taking time out to exercise – exercise releases endorphins which act as a natural ‘mood-lifter’, allowing teens to clear their head in a healthy way amid exam pressure.
  3. Ensure teens maintain a healthy diet – providing foods high in omega 3 fresh fruit, especially berries, ripe bananas, green tea, trail mix and dark chocolate are all good choices too.

Note: During exam periods, particularly, discourage teens from relying on energy drinks as a source of continued alertness and concentration.

Research has shown that it only takes 7 – 12 days for our body to become tolerant to the regular level of caffeine it is consuming and thus, the dosage becomes less effective.

Finally, we can ensure our teen maintains a regular and predictable evening wind-down and sleep routine. Although challenging at times during exam period, initiate and enforce the ‘lights out’ rule, as sleep is a crucial factor in overall emotional wellbeing, memory and concentration.