Exam Stress – Top Tips for Teachers
It’s Exam time which can be seen as an incredibly stressful time not only for students but for Teachers as well.
Each year thousands of teenagers sit exams, and thousands of teachers and teaching assistants sit in silence moderating the exams
This is our guide on how to help you get ready for exams and prepare your students, so they are confident and ready to take on their Mocks, GCSEs, or A Levels.
Build Confidence and motivate your students.
Make sure your learners know the importance of their exams and how doing well can assist in their future careers, jobs and aid life experiences for example doing well in a foreign language can help when they travel in their adult life so it’s important even if they are not interested in any form of further education or careers which involve foreign languages. Motivate your students to revise and help them to revise.
This can be done in many ways, if you can, make revising as fun as possible and varied through different learning styles which are visual learning, auditory learning, reading, and writing learning, and kinaesthetic learning then it will more likely stick.
Build confidence by setting mock mini tests regularly beforehand so they can see any areas where they lack confidence and once you have the results go through these areas of weakness with your students. Certain topics may need re-covering in class if a sizeable proportion of children are showing areas where they are not getting the answers right.
Provide extra revision sessions after school where possible, mix it up with one-to-one appointments for revision and some larger groups and have revision topics planned so time is maximised. If students feel more confident going into their exams, they will be much calmer and will be focused and feel mentally prepared, rather than have stressed minds and not focusing on what is being asked of them.
Make sure they understand how it works.
Inform your students beforehand what happens on exam day and prepare them for it. Make sure they know to arrive at school and be outside the exam room with plenty of time to spare, this will all add to keeping them calm instead of rushing and stressing.
Make sure they bring with them a bottle of water in a transparent plastic bottle; hydration is especially important and exam rooms can get extremely hot on sunny days. It will also help with keeping focus. Each student needs to know to bring a selection of black and blue pens (at least two of each).
To us this may seem like a natural thing but not all pupils will know to do this. Instruct them to try and get a good night’s sleep and rest the day before and to make sure they have had a satisfying meal beforehand; a rumbling tummy can be a big distraction and ‘fog the brain.’
Re-iterate the need to make sure they read the exam paper carefully and to pay attention to the questions being asked for example are they required to describe, explain, provide examples.
As a teacher you may well be feeling the stress of exams yourself, this can be caused through a variety of reasons such as naturally wanting all your pupils to pass with flying colours and worrying if they don’t get the results.
You may be stressed because you see them stressed and you feel the knock-on effect, or it could just be the anxiety of leading up to the end of the year and watching those you’ve nurtured throughout the year finishing school for good which is understandable.
So if you are feeling stressed it’s important as Teacher you follow your own advise to your students by resting well and getting a good night sleep before, eating a good meal beforehand and throughout the week, limit your caffeine intake (and alcohol), try and switch off by doing some exercise or what ever your hobby is spend some time doing it. Make sure you make time for yourself.
A Stressed teacher will more than likely have a negative impact on the students.
Full Circle Education can help with the stress of exams by providing cover, so there are enough teachers and assistants to continue teaching and sit in exams and help make sure everything goes smoothly.
Get in touch today to find out more