Facing Exams

Exams are a time of pressure. Our research has shown that higher performing pupils tend to steer toward lower seeking change as they approach exams; they establish consistent routines and avoid distractions and deflections. They also increase their self-disclosure so they can reach out for help when they need it, which is very important under the pressure of exams.

Children who over-check, or who show controlling and closed behaviours will need help to lower the pressure they put on themselves before exams. Parents will need to help these children limit revision time, create purposeful healthy ways to relax and to share how they are feeling as exams approach. They should be particularly aware that exams will be time when such children may reach for unhealthy, private ways to self-sooth.

Children who show impulsive and deflecting behaviours will need help to focus and structure their preparations. Parents will need to consider where these children work in the home so they are not distracted; how to structure managable chunks of time to work; how to set small realistic goals.

Children who show self-referential behaviours will need help to motivate and drive themselves. Highlighting the consequences of different outcomes, and rewarding effort rather than exam outcomes, will build self-efficacy and the ability to struggle.


  • SEARCH THE TAG CLOUD for articles which deal specifically with EXAM issues.
  • The articles on this page support children with patterns of behaviour which are known to  be particularly associated with problems in facing exams.


Does your school know about AS Tracking? Helping schools develop rounded, healthy, well-regulated children….

Want your school to know about STEERING PARENTS?