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Don't let this happen to your child!
Don't let this happen to your child!
Sitting exams isn’t fun. And preparing for them can be even worse.

Sometimes a little bit of pressure can spur your child on to study, but once this pressure starts turning into stress bad things happen.

Here are 5 of the most common stress-causing complaints from students leading up to exams, and our solution to each one.

1. I’m not going to fit everything in

Many students feel like their head will explode when they try and figure out how they’re going to study for everything they need to in the short amount of time they have available.

(This is especially true if they’ve procrastinated away a large chunk of it!).

Our suggestion: Make a study timetable.

Not only will having a study timetable to stick to make your child more organised, it’s a marvellous stress-reducer!

It will show your child that there is, in fact, enough time before their exams to go over everything.

2. I don’t know where to start

This is the main reason that prevents students from starting studying in the first place.

They don’t have a game plan.

We like to compare this to heading out on a road trip. If you don’t know where you’re going, where do you start? Without a target you’ll end up just sitting in the driveway.

Our solution: Make a Subject Map.

“I don’t know where to start” is another way of saying “I don’t know what I should be studying”.

A Subject Map will show your child exactly what they need to study, therefore eliminating the problem of not knowing where to start.

Making a Subject Map should be the very first thing your child does as they embark on studying for exams.

A Subject Map will give your child the game plan they need. It will also ensure they don’t forget to study something really important, and at the same time will prevent them from studying topics that aren’t relevant to the upcoming exam.

A Subject Map is an organised list of all the different topics your child needs to revise.

Simple, but effective!

3. There isn’t enough time!

There never seems to be enough time when you’re studying for exams. There’s a huge amount of work to revise, and probably only four or so weeks of study break.

That’s actually a fair amount of time if you make use of it!

Of course the majority of students don’t…

Our solution: It’s not original, but start NOW!

Our advice to all students – is to start NOW.


Effective study requires time and repetition, which isn’t possible in a few days.

Very often there’s a motivational issue involved in the mix. If your child is someone who tends to leave things until last minute, they aren’t thinking enough about the future.

They need to do some projection thinking and understand that their life is going to be a lot worse off in the long run – definitely the week just before exams – if they put off study now.

4. There’s just too much pressure!

Whilst a large number of students suffer from a lack of motivation and seem to feel no pressure when it comes to doing well at school and in exams… there is an increasing number of students who are at risk of having a stroke with the amount of pressure they put themselves under.

Our solution: Get some perspective!

If your child is motivated, generally enjoys school, and has a strong sense of wanting to do well, then they are going to make a success of themselves one way or another.

It would be impossible not to!

Yes exams are stressful and yes their preferred college course has lofty prerequisites, but if they have a good work ethic and an awesome personality they will go far.

As a parent, you can talk to them about this. It’s great they’re driven, but if it’s making them stressed to the max and unhappy, they could end up doing more harm to themselves than good.

5. I don’t know what to do

This statement often means “I don’t know how to study”.

This is a very common problem amongst high school students – particularly during their first year of proper exams!

We should look out for the kids in this position. It’s not their fault that they don’t know what to do – no one’s told them how to study before!

Our solution: Figure out what Learning Style/s you subscribe to.

We all study and learn most effectively in a unique way. The same study techniques that will help your child get straight A’s might be totally wrong for another student.

Finding out what your child’s predominant learning style is will give them some insight into how they might be best to go about structuring their study – what techniques will help them understand and retain information most effectively, and which ones won’t.

Your child can find out what Learning Style will help them ace their exams by taking our quick online Learning Syles Quiz.


If you and your child have any stress-busting solutions of your own please share them with all of us below in the comments section. We’d love to hear what your family’s study tricks are.

Image Credit: Kreutziana



    • This is nothing in my country children starts to give exams in grade 2 only
      So they get stressed but as time passes you don’t start caring about the exams any more
      Because you get used to it but when u start to study in some other countries and then go back
      To your country and give out the exams that really is ******** because u get used to not giving

  1. I have begun studying (3 weeks ahead) for french… Im in grade 9, and dont know ANY of it. I didnt do well on most of my tests (just passed them all) but I feel like I forgot everything and I dont know how to reteach myself. Im really really really stressed out- this doesnt help!

    • Hi Drew, we’re sorry that you’re stressing out. It’s such an awful space of mind to be in – and only makes your study worse!

      It’s a good thing that you’ve caught yourself out with a few weeks to spare. The main thing that we can suggest is that you take a deep breath, relax, and know that you’re doing the right thing in studying now.

      Furthermore, how about looking at your learning style? Maybe the reason you’re not remembering as much as you should is because you’re used to listening to your teacher in class? And now that you’re alone with a textbook things don’t make any sense? Take our learning styles quiz here.

      Maybe the thing to try here is another type of study guide? Audio tapes, or videos? Ask your teacher what they suggest.

      Once you’ve had a go at the quiz, get back to us and we’ll see if we can help you any more 🙂

      Chris & Clare

  2. I can’t do anything. I just tore my MCL and can’t focus at all the pain is really bad. I have my chemistry exam tomorrow and don’t know what to do. I feel like I know the material but if I can’t focus to study, how can I sit through an exam?????????

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