How to Prepare Best for your Board Exams ?

Stress is a feeling of physical, mental or emotional strain or tension which disturbs or interferes with normal physiological equilibrium. Stress can be overwhelming for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for a teen that has not yet developed effecting coping skills. A major source of teen stress is school exams, and test anxiety is not uncommon. Test anxiety is actually a form of performance anxiety which people can feel when there is pressure to perform well at something. The more important a test is, the more likely your teen is to feel stress to do well on that test. So, how can parents help their teen stay calm before an exam?

Recognize when your teen is under stress

Teens can feel an immense pressure to do well on exams. For some teens, just the idea of taking the test can bring them into a panic. Physical symptoms of stress and anxiety include:

  • lack of sleep,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • loss of appetite or irregular eating, and
  • addictive behaviors like smoking or drinking.

Emotional symptoms include:

  • excessive or uncontrollable crying,
  • aggression or mood swings, and
  • panic attacks.

Your teen may also make negative comments about themselves, such as "I'll never pass this test, I don't even know why I'm trying."

What should parents do?

Any one of these signs of stress should alert parents that there is a problem. To help teens handle stress and stay focused, parents should encourage their teens to manage their time, eat and sleep well, exercise, and ask for help when they need it. Parents can also be more understanding of their teen's moody or difficult behavior during stressful times.

Be involved

Parents need to be involved in their teen's work. The best thing is simply to listen. What they look for is your presence - to talk, to cry, or simply to sit with them quietly. Communicate openly with your teen. Encourage your teen to express his worries and fears, but don't let them focus on those fears. Help him do his best, but try not to pressure him or make him feel that you'll be disappointed if he doesn't do well. Trying to cram all the information at the last minute will only build up his stress. Help your teen set realistic study targets to prevent stress and promote learning.

Help them get organized

Help your teen think about what she has to study and plan accordingly. Together, you and your teen can work out a time-table in which she can study for what she knows will be on the test. Take time to praise your teen when she is working hard. If your teen is organizes even small things like what to wear, eat, and carry with them the next day for the exam, it will help cut down on stress.

Provide a calm setting

Help your teen set up a quiet place to study and protect his privacy. You could also help him by temporarily cutting back on his chores around exam time.

Give them a nutritious diet

It's important for your teen to eat a healthy, balanced diet during exam times to focus and do her best. Exam stress can make some teens lose their appetite. If this happens, encourage your teen to eat light meals or sandwiches. Make sure they understand drugs, alcohol, or smoking will not solve their problem. They will only make the situation worse. A healthy diet, rather than junk food, is best for reducing stress.

Encourage your teen to relax

Persuade your teenager to get some sleep and/or do something active when she needs a real break from studying. Making time for relaxation, fun, and exercise are all important in reducing stress. Help your teen balance her time so that she will feel comfortable taking time out from studying to spend time with friends or rest. Also, make sure that they relax the night before the exam. Having a relaxing evening before the exam will help reduce their amount of stress, and they'll be better prepared mentally the next day.

Research proves that being in a state of relaxation slows the heart rate, decreases oxygen consumption, and lowers the level of blood lactate, an indication of lessened anxiety. Enable your teen to relax by teaching them breathing techniques or encouraging hobbies such as gardening, going for a run with the dog, playing an instrument, listening to music or painting.

Show a positive attitude

A parent's attitude will dictate their teen's emotions. If you panic, blame, or apply to much pressure, your teen will have an undue increase in their stress levels. Make your teen feel accepted and valued for her efforts. Most important, reassure your teen that things will be all right, no matter what the results are.


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