The Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams and interviews are over, to the relief of many parents. However, you may still be helping your child prepare for the 7+ and 11+ school entrance exams in January. School entrance can be a challenging period for both you and your children. But there are ways to minimise the stress.
Help them to study
Ask your child how you can best support them with their exam preparation. Ensure your child has somewhere comfortable to study. Help them to organise their revision by preparing a revision schedule for them or finding past papers to help them to practice. You can also motivate your child by encouraging them to think about their future dreams and goals and to see how these are linked to their exams.
Talk openly about exam nerves
Feeling anxious before an exam or important event is entirely normal. Remind your child that even adults still experience anxiety before an important event, but that this anxiety can be managed and nerves can be put to positive use. Exam practice can help your child feel familiar with the sort of exam papers they will see on the day. It can help the whole process to feel less daunting. Encourage your child to be proud of how much they know- this will help them to feel more confident.
Ensure your child gets sufficient sleep
A good night’s sleep will improve your child’s concentration and ability to think clearly. Children aged between 7 and 10 need at least 10 hours’ a night, teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours. Allow an hour or so for kids to wind down before they sleep. Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your child far more than a few hours of panicky last-minute study.
Keep home life calm and un-pressured.
This is easier said than done, with many London parents managing their own careers and businesses. It is often the case that we as parents feel stressed about school entrance exams, whilst our offspring breeze happily through. Simple things like maintaining meal-time routines and enjoying time together as a family, can help your child to feel secure and supported.
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