It's Exam Time - Support Crew Required

It’s final exam time and you have an important role to play throughout this period. Whilst you can’t sit the exams for your child, you can ensure they have the best possible environment to prepare for them.

There are two very important considerations for you as the leader of the support crew. Firstly, try to minimise parties, gatherings, family events, and, visits by family and friends during this time. It is important to have a peaceful household with a well-structured routine for meals and regular sleeping times. The second consideration (if you haven’t already put this in place) is to clear your diary and if possible, take leave from work, so you can manage the household dynamics.

The role of the leader includes ensuring there is a well stocked fridge, nutritious meals at regular times and being available if possible to drive your child to and from exams. These simple acts relieve a lot of stress for your child in their final exam preparation.

Other things you can do to assist your child during exam time is take over the laundry, making their bed and keeping their bathroom as well as their bedroom tidy.

Other Useful Support Crew Tips:

  • School Clothes - ensure school clothes are clean and set out the night prior to an exam.
  • Examination Materials - make sure allowable examination materials are ready.
  • Clear Zip Lock Bag – these materials must be in a clear ziplock bag and should include different coloured pens, pencils, highlighters, and a ruler.
  • In Working Order - it is strongly recommended these writing implements are all checked to ensure they are in working order the night prior to an exam. In my experience (with my own daughters during their VCE exams) purchasing new pens ensured they didn’t run out mid way through an exam.
  • Dictionary - ensure this is per VCAA/IB guidelines and has no writing in it.
  • Calculator – make sure calculators are fully charged and checked the night prior to the exam. There is no provision for borrowing a calculator if your child's calculator runs out of battery during the exam. 
  • Water Bottle – clear with no writing.
  • Bound Reference – all Bound References should now be completed. Make sure this is ready and in easy reach the night prior to the exam.
  • Other Exam Materials – any other allowable exam materials for a subject should also be put out the night prior to the exam.

Exam Days:

  • Getting To and From the Exam – if possible, drive your child to and from the exam. On the way there ensure the radio or music is not playing. This gives your child time to mentally prepare for the exam and read through last minute notes.
  • Last Minute Mental Preparation – check in with your child as to whether they want to sit in the car or wait outside the exam room. Waiting in the car allows your child time to mentally prepare. It also eliminates distractions and avoids encountering other students with heightened anxiety that may be waiting to enter the exam room.
  • After Exam Snack – your child will be mentally and physically exhausted after the exam, and, most likely hungry and thirsty. If you are waiting to pick them up, it is recommended you have a snack and drink. They may not be ready to eat it immediately, but they will appreciate the gesture. Similarly, if your child is making their own way to and from the exam, pack a small after exam snack for them.
  • Enquiring About the Exam – the minute your child gets into the car after the exam is not the time to enquire how the exam went. Give them the space to breathe and compose themselves. A better way to approach this question is to say “You must be hungry, I’ve brought you a snack/treat as a reward for getting through your exam”. Let your child then start the conversation about the exam.
  • Final Exam Reward – your child’s final exam is an important occasion. It marks the official end to their secondary studies. It is a great idea to ask them now, how they would like to celebrate their final exam. This gives them something to look forward to at the conclusion of their exams. It could be lunch, afternoon tea or an early dinner. It doesn’t have to be an extended event, but it is a nice way to mark the end of their studies. Bear in mind your child will be keen to meet up with friends to celebrate the end of exams. However, celebrating after the final exam is an important part of closing this chapter for you and your child.

Finally, good luck, we are here if you need any support. Whilst we have carefully managed final tutoring sessions around your child’s exams, if your child is feeling anxious the day before an exam and wants a session with their tutor to calm their nerves, please contact me personally on 0499 999 810.

Written by Sonia Francis | Founder | Managing Director | Avivo Elite Tutoring