How to help your child deal with exam results

You know what's more stressful than exams? Receiving exam results. Here are some ways parents can help.

There is a reason why, as adults, we continue to dream about sitting exams in school halls. The feelings associated with examinations and receiving the results — which can be traumatic for some — never truly leave us, no matter how much time we put between now and graduation.

So you can imagine the amount of stress your child goes through every single time his report card is due. In fact, as reported in a 2017 article in The Straits Times, a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development that polled 540,000 students from 72 countries found that 86 percent of Singapore students worried about getting poor exam results.

The good news is there is a whole host of things you can do as an adult — and as a parent — to alleviate some of those worries.

1. Go out and exercise

Physical health is one of the keys to academic excellence. After all, it’s hard to study well if your child is often falling ill or is constantly tired or sleep-deprived — how does he focus in the classroom? This is why it is important to ensure your child fits some form of physical exercise into his routine, even during the hectic examination period and also after results are released. It could be as simple as a brisk walk 30 minutes a day, five times a week. Even light regular exercise is said to be an effective way to de-stress as feel-good brain chemicals known as endorphins are released when working out, helping to combat both anxiety and depression.

2. Share your story

Every Singaporean has a story to tell with regard to exam results. Maybe you got a single-digit score for maths or set your fried rice on fire during the Home Economics practical test. Whatever the story, share it with your child. More than just the laughs, your past experiences show your child that it is possible to recover from failure, and that poor performance is not as uncommon as he thinks.

3. Don't compare with others

Even if your child has done better than expected, comparing his results with others’ is often a source of stress. As a parent, instead of comparing your child’s results with that of every niece and nephew in the family, let your child know that the only person he has to beat is himself. Furthermore, any improvement should be rewarded regardless of the results of his better-performing classmates.

4. Plan the next move

Of course, as parents, you still want your child to do well at school. It is important, however, to put some time between receiving the results and planning for the next semester. Instead of piling on more tuition classes, have a chat with your child to see if there are any underlying issues that can be addressed.

For more on how to safeguard your child's education, click here.

The information in this article does not necessarily reflect the views of Prudential Assurance Company Singapore Pte. Ltd. Certain information in this article may be taken from external sources, which we consider reliable. We do not represent that this information is accurate or complete and should not be relied upon as such.

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