Top tips for tests and exams

12 - 18 years
Exam paper

It’s normal for your teenager to feel some stress if they have exams coming up, but there are ways you can help them manage their feelings. Teach your teen these tips to help your them prepare well.

Be prepared

Encourage your teen to revise regularly over the term. If they have done their revision and thoroughly understand the work, they will be much more confident when the time comes for exams.

Take breaks

While they are studying, encourage your teen to get up and walk around regularly to keep the blood flowing and clear their head. This will help the brain to absorb and process information. Short exercise breaks are great too.

Drink water, not caffeine

Water is very important for the brain and body. Encourage your teenager to drink water and avoid drinks with caffeine. Too much caffeine can make your teen feel jittery and restless.

Feed the brain

While your teenager is studying, have healthy snack foods on hand that feed the brain and nourish the body, for example nuts, fruits and vegies.

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation can impede learning and reduce exam performance, so encourage your teenager to go to bed early during exam time.


Encourage your teen to breathe deeply if they are feeling nervous. It sounds simple but it works – slow, deep breaths trigger a relaxation response and inhibit stress-producing hormones.

Think positive

Encourage your teen to see an exam as an opportunity to demonstrate how much they have learned.

Keep it in perspective

Very few exams these days are make or break. Assure your teenager that even if they don’t get the results they were hoping for, there are other pathways to get where they want to go.

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Last modified
20 April 2020