A bit late now, but this is what I told my daughter on the morning of her exam, while giving her a hug.
She had done everything I asked of her in preparation, and deserved our pride. We were proud of her determination whatever the result. She should be proud of her determination too. I had demanded, and got levels of concentration out of her that she had never got close to before.
We had already told her that the rewards promised her for success were now hers whether she failed or passed, and she fully deserved them too.
If she failed she would still get into her next choice, and it was still capable of teaching her well.
This was the first time she was sitting an exam that mattered, but it would not be her last. Some she would pass, and some fail, but she had now learned how to do her best. That is what counted, and if she keeps her present attitude her future looks very good indeed.
She was nervous, and that was a good thing. Nerve will concentrate her mind. Clearer, and faster thinking. Fewer mistakes.
Right. She has put good work in, and now is the time to go for it. I know she has a good chance. Her results in practice were very good indeed. Go in there and forget everything but the questions in front of you. Nothing else matters until the exams are over. If another child kicks you, or bursts into tears ignore it. If your teacher tells you off, apologise and ignore it. If somebody steals rubbers or pencils, ignore it. Don't let ANYTHING disturb your concentration. Don't stop until the exam ends.
We have rehearsed the practice papers, but there may be surprises. The papers might even be completely different. Remember that the other children will be surprised too. If you find it more difficult than expected don't panic. Just go for it as best you can. We don't know what the pass mark will be, so however badly you think you are doing, go for it. It might still be enough.
When you come out we will go for a meal, and you can unwind. If you are stressed you can take time off sick from school. If you can't handle the last lesson after the exams, tell the teacher you are sick. I will collect you. Nothing will be too good for you.
My daughter came out of those exams with a smile on her face. She says that my pep talk helped. Even her dodo of a teacher didn't manage to destroy her state of mind by taking away the pencils and rubbers we had so carefully selected. We ate out and had double stewed eels and mash. She enjoyed it. A new experience.
I might add that the advice on this site is good. Make sure your child sleeps well before the exam. Avoid last minute revision. All the revision in the world won't help if they run out of energy before the exams are over. In the days leading up to the exam do everything to reduce stress. No shouting in front of them. Not to them, not to others. Not even on TV. Ban stimulants such as coffee, coca cola, and chocolate. No computer games. If it wakes them up, it's banned. Lots of cuddles, stories, cartoons, drawing and reading. They can help with the cooking if they enjoy it. Missing out on East Enders and computer games is tough, but most kids will swap for extra attention and praise.