Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Parents Survival Guide to Exams and Revision

At this time of year it's hard to escape exam fever.  Even if you're not actually sitting the summer exams, you probably know someone who is.  My son is primed and ready for his GCSEs to start on May 12th, and as a dutiful mother, I am here to offer my support, words of wisdom and my extensive knowledge of surviving the same experience.

I sat my Maths GCSE on my sixteenth birthday, not my most favourite teen memory! 

However, it would appear that today's teens have their own process for revision and exam preparation and my knowledge is obsolete...allow me to share my recent findings!

A Parents Survival Guide to Exams and Revision:
  1. Forget everything you remember about being sixteen!  Save yourself from the ridicule and eye rolls by letting your teen believe they are the first in their species to sit an exam.
  2. Stock up on poster paper, highlighters and Blu-Tac - be prepared to find the walls of your living room, kitchen, bathroom and hall covered in mind maps.
  3. Ensure the fridge is fully stocked.  You may have survived on three meals a day, but your teen requires five meals, twelve snack breaks and a weekly takeaway.
  4. Set aside an equipment drawer with necessary budget - new black pens, pencils, ruler and batteries for a calculator.  The night before they sit their first exam you WILL be told that all these items have been mislaid.
  5. Herd all other siblings and the elderly to another part of the house to avoid any TRI's (tantrum-related-injuries).
  6. Approach with extreme caution when you explain to your teen that ten minute revision, followed by forty-five minute rest, is not what the teacher had in mind when they said 'take regular breaks'.
  7. Assassins Creed DOES NOT count towards History revision, no matter what they tell you.
  8. When your sulky, withdrawn teen arrives at melt-down point, be ready to tell them to suck it up and get on with it, but at no point should you say, 'in my day...'
  9. Find the fuse box and pull the plug on all electricity at 11pm, telling your teen there must be a power cut.  Shrug your shoulders in a what-can-I-do manner (a manoeuvre your teen understands) and suggest they get an early night for a change.
  10. Use all the willpower you can muster to avoid nagging - you can lead a horse to water...
  11. Your role as a parent in about to be tested - remember to offer plenty of support, and if/when the devil horns on your teens head, shrink momentarily, go in for an occasional hug and remind them you love them no mater what.

There you have it, my survival guide.  I would like to wish all the parents out there lots of luck at this stressful time - we can get through this!

I'd also like to wish my amazing son all the best for his exams - suck it up and get back to that revision!

Do you have any tips for surviving revision/exams? 

Are you sitting your exams?  Good Luck to you if you are :-)