Institute of Education Study Notes

Sunday, 24th June, 2018

Academic Zone

Exam Preparation… Advice for Parents

So the countdown is on and the State exams are in seven weeks. As a parent of an exam student, there are a few things you can do now to help your child remain calm and steady and get through the exams with the minimum amount of stress and anxiety.

Know the exam timetable

Knowing what days the exams are on, and at what time, is a simple but very practical thing you can do to support your child during the exams. Visit to find this information.

Plan in advance

Make sure that you know where the exam centre is in advance and plan, with your child, how they will get to and from the exam centre each day of the exams.

Encourage your child to get some exercise

Otherwise they’ll have low energy levels which will really impact on their studies. Short, stress-relieving activities, like a workout or short run, are best. Just make sure they don’t overdo it.

Make sure they sleep!

No one can function at their best with a lack of sleep. Your child will do much better during exams if their mental state is good, and sleep is essential for this.

Free up their responsibilities

Eliminate other duties from their schedule as much as possible. Encourage them to ease off on house hold chores and put off social events and shopping until after the exams are over.

The right food for the right results!

It’s best for your child to eat small, frequent meals during their study to keep their blood sugar and energy levels steady. It’s easy to snack on sugary foods, but this can negatively affect their ability to focus. Ensure that there is a good supply of healthy snack food in the home. Good and convenient examples include bean soups, peanut butter and meat sandwiches, ready- to-eat tuna and chicken salads and different kinds of nuts.

Just be there

Simply making yourself available to your child if it all gets too much is probably the most important role that you can fulfill as a parent. Exams are stressful, but knowing there is someone there to talk to, someone who will make you a cup of tea, listen to your worries and provide support and encouragement is really the best stress reliever any student can have.


Orla Ni Shuilleabhain will be holding a number of study skills seminars in The Institute of Education in August and September 2017. These seminars teach students how to develop good study techniques and advise them on how to make the best possible use of their revision time.

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Orla Ni Shuilleabhain

About Orla Ni Shuilleabhain

Orla has been teaching at the Institute 27 years and has also taught in a number of schools in the Greater Dublin area. She has contributed to a variety of exam programmes in the media, namely RTE radio’s post-exam analysis and Drive Time.Orla has worked as editorial consultant on a number of German text books, including Klassel and Klasse2 and is one of the authors of the 2014 Exam Times languages supplement, published by the Irish Times.

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