Pressure of Year 10 exams, help please

(8 Posts)
Dancergirl Tue 03-May-16 23:15:10

I really hope someone can give me advice how I can help and support my dd.

She's in Year 10 at a selective girls' school. She's a bright girl but lacks confidence and doesn't think she's clever. She doesn't sit any GCSEs early so this year it's just internal exams. They start around 17th May and so far she's done very little work. She did an exam timetable on an app on her phone but already she isn't sticking to it and says it's not working.

I think she's really worried about things and this is stopping her from working. Her worries are two-fold: firstly it seems (to her) that 'all' our friends' dc are getting strings of A*s and As, and pretty much most of the girls at her school get mostly top grades. And secondly she is seeing life from now on as one long string of exams - Year 10 exams, mocks, GCSEs, A Levels, degree exams etc. She's looking at it as one long exam roller coaster that she can't get off.

I'm convinced that success at GCSE is largely due to hard work and I have told her this.

I have told her not to worry about any future exams for now, just to focus on the impending ones. I want her to do well in these as I think it will boost her confidence. But my worry is that she'll put her head in the sand and come out with average results which will then make her even more down about things.

The school is a good fit for her and we've had very good reports and parents' evenings since the start.

I don't know the right approach. At the moment I'm just trying to be supportive but I do nag her a bit as well. Should I be more heavy handed, e.g. impose a sanction if not enough revision is done? She really wants me to butt out and trust her to do enough. But if I can't see much work being done I need to step in don't I?

CallMeACynicBut Tue 03-May-16 23:36:52

For internal year 10 exams? No, I think this is your golden opportunity not to step in. Observe; take notes; don't remind; don't step in. Tell her this is what you're doing! Encourage her to make notes of what she's actually doing, or not. Treat this time as an experiment to gather "what works, or doesn't" data.

I think it's a mistake to think that good results as a consequence of being organised into it by you will boost her confidence. More likely, it will reinforce her view of herself as someone who needs someone else to organise them.

If she does get terrible results, try not to recriminate. Get her to analyse what it was she didn't know, and what kind of revision would have helped - then next time she goes in knowing it's not pointless!

If she actually does quite well, then maybe you'll feel better, and then much the same process: what would have helped her do even better?

When it comes to GCSEs you maybe really will need to step in if she's not working - all the more reason to do whatever you can now to make sure it doesn't come to that.

Penvelopesnightie Tue 03-May-16 23:42:08

If she has all her core revision guides it should be easy enough for her to revise . She should be reading through them for a start and googling anything she doesn't understand , making notes of anything that's tricky and that needs to be remembered .

Haggisfish Tue 03-May-16 23:48:26

Actually, if she's bright she will prob be able to get as and bs with not too much effort. Reassure her after a levels she can take time out before deciding if she wants to carry on. She could even get an apprenticeship or something after gcse.

TeenAndTween Wed 04-May-16 07:59:32

My dyspraxic DD needed organising and lots of help for her revision. there is no way she could have managed on her own. You won't need to go to the extent I did (I did most science and maths 1-1 with her), but here are the basics you can set her up with:

What's her revision timetable actually like?

Are the hours set reasonable with enough rest breaks etc, or is she setting herself up to fail.

Has she set up a variety of subjects each day, or trying to do a whole day of history which will quickly get boring.

Is she aiming to use a variety of techniques to jazz it up - e.g. write note cards / mind maps, use BBC bitesize, do past papers.

Does she do any planning 2-3 days in advance as to what precise topics she will cover for each subject in the upcoming sessions. e.g. Not 'physics' but 'generation and transmission of electricity.

Is she ensuring she goes non-distractable whilst revising, e.g. hiding in school library, phone off.

Dancergirl Wed 04-May-16 09:07:43

These are all good revision tips, but the thing is she has more or less shut me out. She doesn't WANT any help but at the same time I can't see much work being done.

Tigerblue Wed 04-May-16 10:58:30

My DD has always been very independent, it has to be her work, her ideas and no one can help. I do, however, show interest in her work if she shows it to me, point out family commitments we have so she can work around things and ask occasionally if she's coping okay with things.

I know we want the best for them, but they're getting to the age where they need to take responsibility themselves.

DD had her Year 10 exams in March, they were basically mock mock GCSEs and she had very little time to revise to the fact most teachers were still giving out regular homework. Some teachers did have revision sessions.

If your DD doesn't revise as much as she ideally should and doesn't get the mark she feels she capable of on this occasion, hopefully it'll help get her more focussed.

Dancergirl Wed 04-May-16 15:10:44

Thank you, I do agree that you have to sometimes take a step back and work it out for themselves.

I suppose my worry is that if she gets poor results in these exams, rather than making her more focussed, she might slip down and lose more confidence which will be hard to build up again.

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