Exam tips beyond the textbooks

Exam time, it may spark fear in some and eagerness in others – whether your son is keen to tackle the challenge of trying his best or is struggling to cope with the approaching exam period, you can assist by helping him to manage other factors in his life which may impact his study efforts.

As parents know from their own experiences with tests and exams throughout their education, figuring out effective study techniques is an individual process – what works for some may not for others.

Below are some simple everyday tips to help your son beyond the textbooks and personal study skills;

Factor in regular eating and sleeping patterns:

Eating to recharge is key. Eating regular, nutritious foods will help boys to refuel their brains. Relying on sugar-loaded or highly caffeinated drinks and foods will not sustain study periods and exam-time energy levels, these could in fact add to any nervousness/anxiousness in students.

Regular sleep patterns are also vital to enable the brain to compute all of the information it is being given. Setting regular bedtime/waking times is just as important as setting a study schedule and should be part of the ongoing study/exam schedule for boys.


Exercise helps you think better. The physical exertion of exercise helps the brain to stimulate new cell growth and increase connections between cells. There are many positives to taking time out to exercise during study/exam periods, including; focusing the brain on physical rather than mental activities, getting fresh air/change of scenery, and expelling energy to aid in stress management.

Just as exercise helps the brain so too does relaxation. Whether it is mindful meditation or time out listening to music, taking regular breaks away from the study environment will aid in the study process

Set rewards:

Nobody can study non-stop, burnout is a real thing and taking regular breaks is an important part of any study routine. Setting rewards is a good way to ensure breaks are taking place i.e. when Chapter 3 and 4 are revised I can watch one hour of TV. Regular and appropriate rewards/time out will help boys to manage their study schedule and maintain their learning for the duration of the study/exam period.

If your son/you are having problems dealing with study management and any anxiety associated with the upcoming exam period contact the school, school counsellor, GP or charity organisations such as Kids Helpline or Reach Out for guidance and support.