Testing Times

21 March 2006

Testing times are on the way, with millions of British schoolchildren and university students facing more exams than ever before. According to a recent survey*, 64% of young people feel they have to take too many exams.

Whether its SATS, GCSEs, A Levels or university exams, it’s coming up to crunch time and students are facing increasing pressure to perform on the big day. This in turn leads to more stress for children. It’s no surprise that four out of five parents say that the increasing burden of schoolwork and exams puts a strain on family life*.

But parents can play a key role in helping their offspring to prepare for exam time. Dr Jackie Stordy, independent nutrition consultant comments: “Paying close attention to nutrition is an excellent place to start.

“Trials suggest that supplements providing Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats may help concentration levels and reduce the anxiety associated with preparation for examinations. It’s not possible for the body to manufacture Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats so they must come from the diet.

“Eating the right types of foods in sufficient quantities is easier said than done when every last minute involves cramming of information so taking a supplement is a sensible choice” adds Dr. Stordy.

There are other ways parents can help through this stressful period. Check out the following helpful hints:

Make sure your child gets enough sleep – not only on the night before the exam but in the days and weeks leading up to exam time

Encourage your son or daughter to plan a revision timetable. Now is the time to do this – it will help to break the work up into manageable chunks and work systematically through the workload

During the revision period encourage your child to take plenty of breaks. It’s best not to study for more than 50 minutes in one go

In revision breaks, make sure your child gets some exercise, preferably in the fresh air – this will help to lower stress levels

Once a topic is completed, offer to test your child – you never know, you might learn something too!

Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet. Research shows that nutrition plays a critical role in concentration and brain development. Oily fish is a great source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 nutrients and the right balance of these nutrients can make all the difference.

Parents can ensure their children get enough Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential nutrients with Efalex. A convenient daily dose in capsule, liquid or berry flavoured Chewies provides students with the nutrients they need to help maintain concentration and learning ability. For more information about Efalex visit www.efalex.co.uk or call 0870 6060128.

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