There are many ways to battle exam stress as a parent. Preparing your child for the HSC is the final stretch.
An important component of HSC study is setting fixed, tangible and realistic goals with your child. Have a discussion with your child about how much time they have left to study.
You may wish to be with them to help set a realistic but high goal. Depending on which stage of HSC study your child is at you could brainstorm:
A specific ATAR goal
Goals for marks at school or marks in HSC trials
Goals for different university courses
Goals for how much study to complete
You may even associate rewards with their goals. For example, studying for HSC could equate to working towards a car or holiday.
Make sure they are rewarded for their study goals. Let them watch their show, see friends or any other reward they wish after completing their daily/weekly goal.
You can play a role in helping your child consolidate their study knowledge before the HSC. Helping them out this way may be a less intensive way to get work done at home outside of their study area.
Ask your child questions about what they have studied. You may also volunteer to be their ‘student’ as they teach you HSC concepts and materials they have learnt.
You may wish to assist your child by helping test them with their notes or flashcards, especially for history or science-based subjects.
Preparing your child for the HSC can include the whole family. For this short period of time, try to do your best to assist your child, opening up more time to study.
This may look like:
Taking up chores or asking other siblings to help out for a short while
Provide healthy, nutritious meals and study snacks
Help create a distraction-free study space for your child at home
Make sure they are taking breaks, socialising and exercising
Try not to bombard your child with too many tasks while they are studying extra hours.
Do not put pressure on your child, however they may ask you to hold them accountable.
If they have planned to study but they are watching TV or on their phone, ask them what they are doing and if they need assistance confiscating their devices.
Remind them that they can reward themselves after studying or HSC practice for the day.
Whilst the HSC is important, it is just a test.
Make sure you are taking care of your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
Speak to your child and make sure you are checking up appropriately as teenagers are not very communicative. Remind them you will not be disappointed if they have tried their best.
For tips on dealing with stress and excessive signs of stress to look out for, see here.
Remember there are alternate pathways and bridging courses for tertiary education offered by universities, TAFE and colleges.
Your child has plenty of opportunity to study leading up to the HSC. It is never too late to study, unless it is the day of the exam. Make sure your child is not discouraged leading up to the HSC, even 30 days can make a dramatic difference in results.
Tip: Treat your child’s break after school and before the HSC as a regular school day of study.
Make sure your child can see the finish line. They are nearly on holiday!
The HSC should not take over the significant time in your child’s life including graduation from 13 years of school, formal and many milestones.