Top tips to help your teen perform and keep your own anxiety in check

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KEEP IN CONTACT WITH OTHER PARENTS

Another way to maintain perspective, is to keep in contact with other parents of Matric learners, Mooney says.

“Matric final exams should not be tackled in isolation. Touching base with other parents will allow you to talk through issues and challenges, and more often than not you will find that you are not alone in your experience. So if your child is panicking about a specific subject or just exam writing in general, enlisting the support of other parents will allow you to determine whether you have a real, unique problem that needs to be addressed, or whether your experience is par for the course.”

KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR CHILD’S SCHEDULE

Learners focusing on their studies can easily lose focus of the bigger picture, which is why it is important for parents to know exactly what paper is being written when, and also what the child’s revision schedule looks like.

Mooney says that this is where parents can make a real difference to the effectiveness of their child’s efforts.

“With little time left before the exams, now is definitely the time to study smarter and not just simply more. Sit down with your child two or three times a week to assess how far they have progressed, and advise them on additional ways in which they can prepare optimally, for instance by completing past papers, or by getting additional help with sections of work that are starting to take up too much time.”

KEEP IT REAL

Finally, parents should know what their approach will be if the results come in and they are not what they hoped for.

“If it becomes clear that a learner may, despite their best effort, potentially need to rewrite a paper, it is not for instance a good idea to book a holiday in a far-flung paradise when the family may need to be back for the learner to be able to sit for a rewrite early in January,” says Mooney.

“Additionally, remarking of papers is rarely a good investment as it mostly does not make a material difference to outcomes. So understand the options for whichever outcome may arise when results come through – also the options for learners who may perform better than expected and therefore unexpectedly qualify for further study.

“Understanding the different routes available under various circumstances, will assist greatly in coming weeks, by helping to temper anxiety and fear of the unknown, which in turn will help keep the focus on optimal preparation instead of worry about the future.”

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