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  • Louise Cheetham

Coping With Anxiety During Exams

One of our learners is super stressed about his modern languages writing exam next week. We take our learners to their exams (when they want us to) and with many we often sit with them during the test. These are some tips from one of our amazing team:

Here are a few tips for the day - you probably know all this already, but just in case. 1. Try not to say: 'you'll smash it', 'you'll be fine', 'don't be nervous,' etc 18,000 times. We all do it, me in particular, but actually it can feel like added pressure to ND and/or anxious students.

2. Instead, it can help to remind them about strategies if they have a wobble in the exam like checking work afterwards, pausing for a moment if they feel overwhelmed, focusing on relaxation techniques, planning their long answers and breaking them down into smaller chunks (known as the chunky technique).

3. Ask the exam taker if they want to chat, or if they would prefer to focus in silence. (My mum once started talking to me about which veg I had in the fridge for a pasta dinner on the way to my Master's exam about collateral damage in military interventions, and it was quite frankly annoying!)

4. Try not to ask too many questions, but let them know they can ask you as many questions as they need to.

5. Try not to be too jolly and encouraging - I know this sounds mean, but it is better to exist calmly alongside them picking up on their queues for what they need, rather than trying to cheer them up. If they are jolly by all means jolly away.

Get in contact if we can help your family.

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