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 Post subject: Exam anxiety
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:18 pm
Posts: 11
I have bright kid who should do the exam next weekend. Kid wants to do exam to join siblings at grammar. School expect Kid will do well enough - so far so good.

But, over the holiday kid has become mega stressed, has been vomiting, has headaches, tummy aches complete panic about exam. Kid can't look at a practice paper without crying. The practice audio downloads induce panic. Kid really wants to do exam as kid wants to go to grammar.

I've spoken to Warwickshire school admissions for advice but got none. If Kid is ill Kid can do the exam another day - that just prolongs the torture. If kid freaks out in exam then its a fail, and appeal is only option.

Has anyone any better advice? We have tried everything to downplay the test, it helps for a few days then more panic again. Its a real shame as kid is brighter than siblings who got into grammar without any problems!


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 Post subject: Re: Exam anxiety
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 6719
A few years ago a friend's daughter started to be the same in the last few weeks leading up to the exam - on the day she woke up and burst into tears and said she really didn't want to do it - they simply didn't put her in for it and she went to her local school and has done really really well - she was feeling the pressure as her older brother had managed to get into a local grammar.

The parents believed they had kept it low key, but, on reflection, realised that simply by taking her to a tutor every week, doig stuff over the holidays and the fact that her brother had been successful previously, it had become a "VERY BIG THING" to her. Unfortunately this sounds the same - all children get anxious before tests/exams but some work themselves up into a state. In a rational moment - ie no practice papers, no audio download - take them on a walk in nature, just you and your child and tell them how proud you are of them and their achievements, how the test does not matter and that it just gives them different options and if they don't want to take it that is perfectly OK. They need to know this over and over and need to know that the result of the test does not define their relationship with you.

Ultimately, Grammar Schools are high test/high competitive environments and, if your child does not react well then it might not be the place for them, but they will do well anywhere with support. The LEA are right though, if you present them for the test you are deeming them fit and well.


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 Post subject: Re: Exam anxiety
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:18 pm
Posts: 11
We have tried to play it down as much as possible, but clever as kid is doing no practice at all for the whole summer is a high risk strategy! Told kid numerous times we don't mind which school etc. More to life than passing exams....

Kid is clever and motivated enough that they would do fine at non-grammar. However, other siblings are at AGS which is the most non-pushy and supportive school I know. That is the intense frustration of the current situation.


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