Exam Checklist for Parents


  1. Before the start of study leave, talk to your teen about how you’re trusting him or her to stay focussed on studies.
  2. Make sure your teen understands why these exams are important. Reinforce the idea that success is typically a product of hard work.
  3. Whenever appropriate, praise your teen’s efforts and commitment. You might consider putting incentives in place for exam success. But that will be your choice, based on your knowledge of your teen. 
  4. Establish clear boundaries over what you expect but make sure your boundaries are reasonable.
  5. Make it absolutely clear if you don’t want friends visiting while your teen is at home studying and you’re at work.
  6. Ask your teen to develop a study timetable which both of you can review and discuss. 
  7.  Ask for a copy of the exam timetable or print one off the internet for yourself, so that you know when stress levels are likely to be at their highest.
  8. Discuss where your teen will study (e.g. at home, at school, at a local library or at a friend’s place). If it’s at home, make sure your teen has a dedicated study space they feel is theirs.
  9. Help your teen develop time-management skills and recognise the need to balance study with relaxation.  All work and no play is bad for everyone.
  10. Talk to your teen about what will happen after the exams. If tertiary study is on the horizon, plan a time after the exams when you can both sit down and discuss what needs to be done next.
  11. Wish your teen all the best the night before or on the morning of the exam. Text your teen after the exam.  Alternatively, you could encourage him or her to text you and let you know how it went.
  12. Be there for your teen throughout this period. If she or he needs to talk, be prepared to listen.
  13. Keep your sense of humour.  This stressful time will pass!