How to help your children in facing national examinations

by Phebe Sim (5069 views)
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The PSLE, A level or O level examinations determine whether a student is ready to continue their education at the next level. Stress and anxiety during revision can cause students to receive poor results in their preparation. As a result, they might feel disappointed and even guilty for not living up to the expectations of those around them, which can further affect their mental health. As a parent, how then can you best help your child?



  1. Help them to build up their confidence


Receiving back an exam script with low scores can take a toll on a child’s confidence and self-esteem. You can keep the child's mind off their poor grades and help them build their self-confidence by giving them tasks to do or complete. The child can use this buffer time to relax, clear his head, and improve his mental state of mind.


Here are some activities that can help them rebuild their confidence.


  • Sports and recreational activities


Having a child participate in sports can help release all the stress that has been built up and provide a platform for your child to meet new friends. The young generation often turn to friends for support when feeling down, rather than family members. It will be helpful for them to have someone to talk and confide in. 


  • Spend a day out with your children


Taking your child out to have some family time can also help to distract them from their studies while creating an opportunity to improve the family bonds.


  1. Let them express and vent their emotions


Keeping emotions in can result in children developing negative coping mechanisms. Many children tend to bottle up their emotions when they fail to meet expectations or make a mistake because they are afraid of the consequences. Whenever a parent sees their child holding in their emotions, they should approach them with a calm attitude and assure them that it's okay to cry.


A child who lacks an emotional outlet for expressing their feelings may not be able to think clearly in order to tackle the issue at hand. Consequently, they might lose focus on their tasks and may even become more frustrated and unhappy.


  1. Communication and understanding


Many children are afraid of talking about their feelings due to a sense of threat or insecurity. Fearing that their parents will become angry or unsure as to how they will react are common concerns for young children. Face-to-face confrontation will not only increase their stress and anxiety, but they may also make it a habit of not talking about their emotions, feelings, hesitations, etc., which, in turn, will make communication more difficult.


Children today want to be heard. So, it's crucial that parents let them finish saying what's on their mind before responding or giving advice. It takes a lot of confidence for a child to approach his or her parents to express their thoughts. Hence, it is important that parents refrain from invalidating or interrupting their children's emotions. Doing so may lead to re-instilling negative feelings in them and will not improve the situation.


Assure your child that grades are not everything, and grades do not define them. Be sure to tell them that the most important thing is to put in their best effort so they don't regret their decision.




  1. Hire a tutor


Often, parents may not be able to provide much academic support due to unfamiliarity with the curriculum or other reasons. Getting a tutor can offer a child all the support and assistance they need, as tutors can provide a deeper understanding of a child's subjects and help to develop their study habits. Additionally, tutors can provide advice on examination techniques and time management, so that students are more confident in taking exams.



  1. Monitor the child


Even the closest parents will not understand fully what their kids feel all the time, no matter how close they are. It's important to give the child some space while monitoring their behavior and keeping an eye on them. In addition, it is best to avoid exposing them to negative comments about those who got lower scores, which may cause them to detest themselves for not doing better.




Children may not have the ability to take criticisms or failures with an open mind like adults do as they are still young. Understanding them and encouraging them can help them to understand that exams isn’t the key to success in life as there are many other playing factors.


Show your children that you are proud of them, regardless of what the results may be. If your child is taking a national exam soon, your support might just be the thing they need in helping them face the hurdle.