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Kelly Bos

"I was probably more scared of my high school exams than I was of the Oscars. At the time you think it's everything and if you don't do well, your life's over. Opportunities are gone. So the more you do it, the less the fear is present.”

~Hugh Jackman

Exams are very stressful. I have been out of school for over 15 years and I still have dreams where I am taking tests that I never studied for.

If your children need help relieving the big stressed out feelings inside, here's one thing they can do . . .

Right before the exam, have them take out a piece of paper and write down their feelings and worries about the upcoming exam.

In a study published in the Journal of Science, researchers Dr. Sian Beilock and Gerardo Ramirez found that stressed out students didn't perform as well as their less anxious classmates. Dr. Beilock said that for these students, “their worries use up some of their working memory capacity, leaving less of this cognitive horsepower to apply to the task at hand.” The experiment with students revealed that simply writing out emotions about anxieties and worries about the exam raised the marks of the students by one grade point.

It works a little like this—by sharing these emotions, it gets those feelings of worry out there and stops them from thinking over and over again about the stress. The students are then able to focus on the information they need to recall.

So although the students in your house likely prefer to cram until the minute they walk into their exam, encourage them to put down the books right before, pull out a piece of paper, and give it a try. By putting their fears into words, they can move on to acing that test!

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