School can be stressful. Students nowadays have to juggle so much in order to lead a normal productive life. Especially for juniors and seniors, graduation is an impending reality that they need to prepare for. Between applying for college, preparing for the SATs, and keeping a thriving social life, day to day life can become tedious and overwhelming.
According to statistics, 83% of teenagers in high school reported feelings of anxiety and stress over schoolwork. 35% of these students have resorted to unhealthy habits like anxiously staying up all night, overeating, or skipping meals as a response to their emotional instability.
The brunt of stress young people experience nowadays is undeniable. This overwhelming feeling is usually amplified by having to prepare for life-determining events such as the SATs. It isn’t surprising how stress levels increase considering how a test may be the difference between a successful career and a dead-end job.
While the exam isn’t the only thing universities are basing the admissions on, the SATs are particularly important for students to get into the college and program of their dreams. Universities use this standardized test in order to compare a student’s score against other applicants. Moreover, colleges are ranked according to the SAT scores of the students that they admit. The higher the average SAT score the more “competitive” those universities are considered.
With that said, preparing for the SATs is serious business. However, stress doesn’t help a student’s SAT performance. In fact, these negative feelings can result in likewise negative scores. According to research, heightened levels of negative feelings towards an academic pursuit, in this case the SATs, can result in poorer performance.
If your child is in the midst of the SATs, there are ways you can help him or her alleviate stress. Below are just a few of our suggestions:
Don’t Be a Source of Pressure
Most often than not, children are stressed over academics because they want to do well for their parents and the people around them. Especially for teenagers, they are well-aware of the sacrifices their folks have to make in order to provide them with a roof over their heads, three square meals a day, and good quality education. Like good children, the least that they can do is do well and make their parents proud.
They already impose that stress over themselves - make sure not to add onto it.
With this in mind, avoid being the source of pressure for your children especially during SAT time. Instead of barking at them to study and prepare, let them know that this test is important but it doesn’t define their worth as people. Put the SATs into perspective. As an adult, you are probably well-aware of the impact of this exam in your adult life. Let them know that you are open to communication and that you are there in order to help them get through this trying time.
As a parent, you are there to support them. Remind them that no matter the SAT results, they are loved and appreciated.
Encourage Treats and Rest
As the tests draw near, it is easy for your children to fall into the trap of studying all day, every day. While you have to admire the dedication, tiring their brains to the point of exhaustion would not help their academic performance. After all, even if they prepared as much as they can, they wouldn’t be able to answer a question properly if they don’t get enough rest.
During their SAT preparations, make sure to pull them out of intense studying once in a while. Set rewards for the small goals that they achieve every day. For instance, an afternoon study session can be rewarded with a movie after dinner. Likewise, it is a good idea to get a treat after a long week of SAT prep on top of school.
These little things can go a long way. In order for these efforts to be the most productive, ask your child what they want as a reward. You would be surprised that more often than not, the treats that they are looking for are simple and affordable. It gives them something to look forward to. Moreover, it reinforces the fact that hard work is always rewarded - this is something that they can use later in their adult lives.
A Nice Cup of Tea and a Calming Discussion
Bottling up stress can be dangerous especially for young people. They tend to be harder on themselves and most often than not, they are yet to be equipped with the skills needed in order to verbalize how they are feeling and what they need.
It is your responsibility as a parent to keep track of your child’s stress levels. You would be surprised how your maternal and paternal instincts are almost always spot on. However, for reference, there are warning signs to your child being stressed. Stressed children are often aggressive. They are more susceptible to snapping even towards adults. Moreover, if you notice that they are overeating or undereating, they are most likely feeling a lot of pressure.
In order to alleviate stress, make sure that your kids know that you are someone that they can talk to. More than that, it is best to approach them with a cup of tea and listen to what they have to say. Most often than not, they wouldn’t be the first one to initiate the conversation. It is up to you to do so.
Set a Schedule
Young people need routines. Setting up routines, even for your teenagers, can make them feel safe. It gives them a semblance of preparedness and control over the day ahead. It also allows them to develop self-control and boundaries.
When it comes to preparing for the SATs, having a set schedule for your kid ensures that they can identify their limits and appreciate rest and relaxation. It also reinforces to them that the scores they get on the SATs while important isn’t the end-all and be all. Their well-being is still the number one priority.
Similar to communication, it is very difficult for young folk to verbalize what they need, when they need it. Make sure to keep tabs on them and ask them when they are feeling like a break is in order. Make suggestions on how they should organize their time.
Check out our 10 Reasons to Hire a Tutor.
Nutritious and Delicious
Eating a balanced diet might seem innocuous especially when it comes to preparing for a big exam like the SATs. However, contrary to popular belief, having good nutrition in the days leading up to the big exam does play a big role in the academic performance of your child. After all, you are what you eat. If you feed your kid a well-balanced diet, they are less likely to be stressed during the test.
Keep in mind that delicious doesn’t necessarily have to mean unhealthy. There are meals online that are just as healthy as they are scrumptious. It is also a good idea to involve your child as what they want to eat. Making sure that they know you are there to provide and support is an effective way to reduce your stress levels.
This doesn’t mean that you give in to their fast food cravings. Instead, give healthier alternatives.
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Seek Professional Help
In as much as it is painful to admit, your role as a parent can only go so far. While you can help prepare your kid, a professional private tutor knows tips and tricks of the trade that you may not be privy to.
Giving your child all the tools that they need to succeed on the SATs is a great way to support them and lower their stress levels. Reaching out to a private tutor for your child in the week’s leading to the exam equips them with the training that they need in order to ace it.
Moreover, most of the tutors are almost as old as your children. If you can’t get through to them, hiring someone who they would consider as their peers might.
With that said, finding a private tutor for your child’s needs isn’t too difficult especially in Canada. There are plenty of resources online that could help point you towards a teacher. Nevertheless, not all tutors are created equal. It is important to find a professional that can meet and respond to the unique learning style of your child.
We at Superprof have a slew of SAT prep tutors that can guide your child during this stressful time. We have already vetted our roster so you are sure that you are getting a bang for your buck.
We have done the groundwork for you. All you need to do is go to our website, pick a tutor for your child, set a schedule, and you are good to go. Who says acing the SATs has to be complicated?
Contact us at Superprof today to learn more about what we can offer your child during his or her SAT prep.
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