Do’s and don’ts
* Don’t flap or the kids will do the same.
* Do find out practical details like exam timetables/where your child will sit the exams/how long they last.
* Don’t assume your children should ‘just get on with it’. Depending on their age, they might need help with revision.
* Do find them a quiet study spot at home.
* Don’t make wild promises ‘if they do well’ if they don’t hit that mark, they’ll feel like failures.
* Do go easy on them. This is the time when their favourite tea or treat is justified.
* Take regular breaks. Most people can’t absorb more than half-an-hour’s solid work without 10-minute breathers in between.
* Younger children won’t revise. Make it a game at bath time or in the car when they can’t escape so easily. If you’re helping your child to revise at home and they hit a difficult question, go on to the next, to boost their confidence, but leave enough time to go back.
* Tell your child to turn the pages carefully in exams in case they’ve missed one, and always turn the last page to see if there’s something on the other side. Remind them to mark extra sheets clearly with their name.
* Encourage early nights.
* Stressed out? ‘Practise visual relaxation,’ says Professor Cooper. ‘Get them to imagine walking into the exam, looking at the paper and realising that they can do more than they thought.’
* A soothing bath and hair wash the night before may help relax jangled nerves.
Next: How to help them prepare