We’ve all been there; the impending feeling of EXAMS and worrying about how to keep focussed and motivated.
As a parent and a career guidance professional, I am absolutely positive that young people find this time much less stressful if they have a clear idea about where they are heading and feel motivated by the future ahead of them. As adults, we feel that time whizzes by in a flash but we need to remember that 6 months or a year can feel endless to a young person. When they hear ‘come on, you’ve just got to keep going for a few more months’ these words can feel like a life sentence.
I often work with de-motivated teenagers who are heading towards very low grades at AS level and a self-imposed sense of failure. This is such a damaging emotion and can often lead a young person to simply bury their in the sand in the hope that it will all go away. By talking through the options and choices ahead of them, considering their learning style and challenging other underlying factors, we can turn miserable, stressed teenagers into young people who assume responsibility for their own efforts and feel excited about their future.
We can introduce simple tools for people of all ages who are feeling overwhelmed. Creating a wall planner or time line is a great visual reminder of what needs to be achieved – block out known events such as family gatherings or outings and then divide the remaining time into achievable slots for revision etc.
Taking time to visit a university or college even during a period leading up to exams can be inspiring.
Taking time to create a CV and focus on skills can help an undergraduate remain confident in their ‘saleability’.
Considering alternative qualifications is a healthy exercise for young people who may be working hard but just are not achieving. Remember that A levels and Btecs are both level 3 qualification and can both lead onto university. Btecs are not assessed by exam and often include varied ways of learning.
If you or someone you care about is about to face ‘exam season’, I wish you the best of luck and if you feel that I could help, please get in touch.