Our Year 12s are almost there, with one final push until they have finished school for good – and what a year it’s been.

Having dealt with the effects of a global pandemic in their two most important years of high school, coupled with the fact that they’ve pioneered a new grading structure here in Queensland (shout out to all the parents who only *just* wrapped their heads around ATAR) our kids have gone through a lot. 

But they’re almost there! Here are a few tips to help them cross the finish line:

  1. Remind them to celebrate how far they’ve come! It would be an incredible achievement in a normal year, but the effects of the pandemic make it all the more remarkable.
  2. Help them focus on what they can control, and accept the things they can’t. This won’t just serve them in this final exam period, but in their adult life more generally.
  3. Ensure their space is set up for their success. While some work better in organised chaos, empty food containers or drinking glasses, a messy bed and cluttered space isn’t conducive to anyone’s success.
  4. Help them achieve balance by structuring breaks into their study routine. This could be a quick walk around the block, a 20-minute YouTube video or TV show, or simply having them leave their room to chat with you in the kitchen.
  5. Don’t underestimate the importance of brain food! Their bodies and brains can’t function at their best without proper fuel, so prepare healthy meals while they’re in the thick of it – they’ll learn the value of proper nutrition, too.
  6. Prioritise sleep over late night study before exams. Your child may be a night owl, but they will be less likely to retain information when they’re studying in the wee hours and going to the exam on minimal sleep.
  7. ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’ couldn’t be more true of exam time. Help your child establish a plan of action that will help see them through to the end of the term – they’ll need to factor in all of their assessment, as well as extracurricular activities, family commitments and work.
  8. In that same breath, remind them that failure is a part of life. If it does happen, even despite their best efforts, turn it into a learning opportunity by talking about a time that you failed and things turned out okay, or help them see the bright side.
  9. Help them ‘stay in their lane’ by reminding them that everyone is different – their peer’s successes don’t spell their failure, so there is no point in worrying about what anyone else is doing. Comparison is the thief of joy, after all.
  10. When it’s all done and dusted, reward them for their efforts – they definitely deserve it! Ask them how they would like to celebrate the end of their exams (and their secondary schooling) at the start of term so that they have an extra incentive to help them get through it.


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