Pug wrapped up in blanket

How To Stop Study Burnout

Written by Aiden Delport

Feeling completely beat from the current exams? Not sure how you are going to make it through? Don’t worry, here’s how!

There comes a point during every exam period when your child “just can’t deal” anymore. It’s a combination of stress, fatigue and – to be scientific – brain mush.

It is tough to help your child escape this mindset, but it is possible. You can also help your child prevent study burnout during future exams.

Here are our top tips for stopping study burnout!

1. Balance

“Life is bigger than work.”

This is one of our core values here at WorksheetCloud, and it is something we all live by. We are all human and all have social lives outside of our work. It is VERY important to never forget that.

Your child should still have a chance to relax with their friends, even during exams. Locking them in their room for 3 weeks will not increase their study efficacy. If anything, it will make studying more difficult for them. Striking a balance here is essential in eliminating burnout.

Try using a reward system with your children in this regard. If they study hard, they are allowed to spend some time with their friends, either over the weekend or in the afternoon depending on the circumstances. It’s important however to not let them spend time with their friends BEFORE they have finished with their studies, as trying to study after being out for the day is nearly impossible.

CAPS Worksheets South Africa

2. Structured study sessions

We have mentioned this in previous blog posts, but there’s no harm in reminders.

Structure your child’s study sessions so that they study in short bursts of 15 to 25 mins, with 5 to 10 minute breaks in between. It has been proven that shorter, focused study sessions are much more effective than longer, draining study sessions. It is also recommended that they stick to 1 specific topic / section per study session, instead of hopping between multiple sections.

If you follow these guidelines, your child will build up better study endurance, and they will find it so much easier to absorb information.

Pencil on a book

3. Switch off

Take a break from technology!

Studies have shown that increased time spent on devices result in increased levels of anxiety and stress, which may come as a surprise. Browsing through Facebook or Instagram is something we do to unwind, but studies have shown that it winds us up more tightly.

We often use technology as an escape from stress, putting off tasks and giving ourselves a brief moment of release. When we snap back to reality though, our stress levels are higher as we have procrastinated the tasks at hand.

Your child should switch off from tech on study days, even if just during the study portion of the day. This will keep them focused and will help them get through their work faster. Use their access to their devices as a reward for studying hard.

The word tech made up of balloons

4. Take a day off

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full day, but allowing your child some time off from studying is super important. Take them out for an ice cream, a walk on the beach or a drive with the family. The stimulation of the real world will refresh their minds and allow for a mental break. They will feel energized when they get back to their studies, and be more capable of studying effectively.

Young boy listening to music on headphones in park

5. WorksheetCloud, duh!

We understand that school is stressful, not even just during exam times. That’s why we do what we do, and have designed the app that we love.

WorksheetCloud takes away the stress of exams and day to day revision with interactive and printable practice exams and worksheets. Your child can revise, learn and improve on their work whilst you monitor it all from an easy-to-read dashboard. The practice exams are short, easy to get through and offer immediate feedback.

You don’t need to have been using it for weeks to get the full benefit. Sign up here and instantly start with exam revision that will help your child NOW.

WorksheetCloud Interactive Exam Revision

6. Eat, sleep and exercise

Yes you hear this all the time, but it is VITAL that your child has a balanced diet, sleep and exercise routine.

Stress depletes your body’s storage of vitamins and minerals, so it is important to replenish them. Having a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables is the best way to do this. Limit the consumption of junk foods with added sugars and trans fats. We aren’t saying that your child shouldn’t be allowed to have any “junk” snacks, but these should be enjoyed in moderation.

Lack of sleep is also one of the most common causes of fatigue. A balanced and consistent sleep schedule is therefore also of the utmost importance, especially during exam time.

Exercise boosts the body’s immune system and creates endorphins that make you feel good. It also reduces cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) which will help your child to stay calm during study periods. Exercising too much can also be counterproductive though, so finding a balance in this is essential. A simple walk around the block during study breaks can do wonders!

Young boy sleeping in bed

7. Early in the day

Your child should start their studies early in the day, when their mind is still fresh. They will have a longer attention span and be able to effectively move through their work-load. If they start studying in the afternoon, they will have already started feeling tired and will struggle to get into a rhythm.

They should also always study BEFORE going out. If they go out with friends with a plan of “studying when they get back”, it won’t happen. At least not effectively. Study first, party later.

CAPS Printable Worksheets

8. Be realistic

Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your child, and make sure that they don’t set unrealistic expectations for themselves. Memorizing the whole textbook just isn’t possible. Set smaller, achievable goals and remind your child that as long as they do their best, you’ll be proud of them.

Yes, studying is tough. But you WILL survive, and your child WILL make it through their exams if they have the right attitude and right routines.

I’m very interested to hear how you help your child cope with study burnout. Post your comments, suggestions and questions below. I personally read and answer every comment.

The Author - Aiden Delport

Aiden heads up our design department and is in charge of making WorksheetCloud look great. He also forms part of the product team in charge of developing new features. His top skill - making a mean cup of tea!

WorksheetCloud is the most exciting way to study for exams and tests!

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  1. Sandra Pollock

    I found that boosting my Gr7 Daughter with vit C and Echinacea and some Omega Oils really helps her.

    • Kyle Roets

      Hi Sandra

      Thank you for sharing your personal experience and what works for your child.

      Please let us know if there are any other blog topics you would like for us to cover in the future.

      Kyle 🙂

    • Zewdie

      Thank you very much it’s important massage for me and my child.
      He doesn’t want to read at all. But if he read more, he gonna be the best

      Thank you for the advice really it will help me to guid my child

  2. Crystal

    Hi Aiden thanks for your blog. Some things I am already doing but it was good to get some other insight as well. It is SO very difficult I kid you not especially when there is a hectic Sport routine involved as well. My son has soccer twice a week and plays matches every Saturday and has a long school day and we travel quite a distance to and from school so “burn out” is definitely starting to show now and he still has 2 weeks to go before all his exams are done. I think breakfast is a MUST and putting in snacks for school which are healthy definitely helps and yes getting enough sleep! My son is crabby if he hasn’t had enough sleep so I make sure he doesn’t have too many late nights in a row otherwise he just cannot concentrate. And yes Structured study sessions definitely!

    • Aiden Delport

      Hey Crystal ?

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m super happy to hear that you found value in the blog post.

      I understand your struggle don’t worry! A very close friend of mine also has a youngster who is big into his sports, and he always complains about how tough it is to manage. School is so demanding already, to then add sport on top of it is a challenge!

      Thinking about it now, might be a good topic for a blog post in the future: “How to balance sport and school.” What do you think?

      And yes, healthy snacks and sleep! Always a must!

      Hope the next 2 weeks go smoothly. Im sure your son will smash the exams! Let us know how it goes.

      Aiden ?

  3. Sethembile

    This is going to be our child’s first exam in Grade 4. Thank you for blog, it really is helping us to do things differently. We have started by improving on her sleeping time. She sleeps earlier so as to wake up fresh. We have built in time to play in between study times. We are just challenged by the amount of homework they still have whilst exams are starting on the 31st of May. She is often tired by the time she has to study. However, with the tips you have been giving we hope to go through smoothly through her first exams.

    I am interested in balancing sports, homework and study during exam period.

    • Aiden Delport

      Hey Sethembile

      It’s a massive pleasure! Your child’s first set of exams can be daunting, but don’t stress too much. If you stick to a good routine (which from the sounds of it, you are doing a great job at) then everything will go super smoothly.

      The homework during exam time scenario is always a challenge. Maybe speak to her teacher about it, tell her your concerns. They appreciate the feedback!

      Thank you for your suggestion as well, we have actually had a few parents ask about the topic of balancing sports, homework and studying. Will see if we can address this in a future post.

      All the best with the exams!

      Aiden ?

  4. Josie Lambert

    I remember the time of my son’s first exam. The whole family was stressed out back then. Well, it was the excitement of a new experience, I guess.
    Perhaps exams and important tests are always difficult, for every student of any age. But discipline and the proper time management for preparation is the key to success.
    Another issue is that despite the preparation, the student is still nervous, which affects his mental health. Younger students then really benefit from the support and approval of their parents. And as a university student, I think you should practice consciousness and find ways to relax (like all adults, in general).
    Thanks for the useful tips for all studying students.

    • Ross Frank

      Thanks so much for sharing this Josie!

      Please let us know if there are any other blog topics you would like for us to cover in the future or if you have any questions regarding our content.

      Ross 🙂

  5. Ima

    My son does like to study at all. He never studied since his first exams in Grade 4. Kindly advise on how I can tackle this challenge.

    • Ross Frank

      Hi Ima, thanks for your comment on our blog!

      This is a tough challenge and I can assure you that you are not alone. Children find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time. He is in Grade 4, so maybe find a way to play a game with him using something like cue cards where he can answer questions for you.

      Please make sure he writes the answers down as well, because sometimes learners can answer verbally but struggle to write it in a sentence. I hope this helps.

      Ross 🙂

  6. Raine Chandler

    Hi Aiden,

    Thanks so much for these tips. I’m not a parent but I am a tutor and I see how stressed students can get when they’re studying.

    I always stress the importance of healthy balanced meals and a manageable study schedule, as well as setting realistic goals.

    I will definitely keep this article in mind during future sessions with my clients’ kids.

  7. Faathima Zahra

    I’m am currently studying for my finals and I have to say these tips really motivate me to study as well as guiding me on how it should be done

    • Ross Frank

      Hi Faathima, thanks for your comment on our blog!

      I’m super happy to hear that you’ve found some motivation and guidance from our articles!

      Please let us know if there are any other blog topics you would like for us to cover in the future or if you have any questions regarding our content.

      Ross 🙂

  8. Natasha Steele

    Thanks Great Blog.
    Really good advise, now make sure that when my son has chill time – he really does chill and is not staring at his screen!
    We also found that small food breaks work wonders ( especially for boys). Nice energy boost and incentive to get stuff done.

  9. Shanaaz Samsodien

    Hi Aiden, This is a really great blog. The advise given here is something that can be applied when studying or when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Making sure that my son really does chill when it is chill time is so important. Otherwise, it is hard for him to switch off and that leads to more anxiety. I find that having a good routine and sticking to it is also important.
    Looking forward to more awesome blogs! 🙂

  10. Thabi

    Hi Aiden
    We didn’t do well in term 1 and 2 even though we tried worksheet cloud and extra lessons ☹️, any advise to plan better for term 3and 4 to make up for the previous terms while on June holidays We might be missing something.

    • Ross Frank

      Hi Thabi, thanks for your comment on our blog!

      I’m really sorry to hear that your child did not do well in Term 1 and 2. I have a suggestion that you could maybe try that should definitely improve your child’s results for Term 3 and 4.

      My 1st suggestion would be to create a Study Timetable (which you can find here: Free Study Resources) for your child in order for them to have a healthy balance between their school work and what worksheets they would like to complete in our app.

      My 2nd suggestion, when you make use of our worksheets, first start helping your child by completing an open book worksheet (doing the worksheet with their school books next to them, which they can refer to for answers), then you can mark their work together. This will help them to draw connections from the work in their textbook to the written answers they give. Marking it together will help build their confidence and they will feel supported (try to make a big deal of the answers they get correct).

      Then, they should complete the worksheet again, but this time with no books and no help. Once completed they can either mark it alone, or you can mark it together again. Maybe make it a bit of a competition, where for every correct answer they get 5 minutes of T.V time (or any activity they love). Incentives work like a charm! This will help to pinpoint the specific areas of that topic that require further study. Talk with them about the questions they got wrong and look for the correct answers or explanations in their school books. They can then read through the work again and then attempt the worksheet a third time.

      All three attempts don’t have to be done in one day, you can spread them out, depending on their concentration ability and extra mural responsibilities. Going over the work, with guidance from you and their books, will help a lot.

      WorksheetCloud also provides interactive online worksheets that are very easy to follow and fun to do. Each worksheet that you do contains 6 questions; this means that your child doesn’t have to concentrate for long periods at a time. When they do a worksheet they can complete the 6 questions, take a break, and then continue doing the worksheets again. This allows the child to be able to focus just a little bit at a time so that they don’t feel frustrated or frazzled by the amount of questions.

      I hope this helps. Please also let us know if there are any other blog topics you would like us to cover in the future or if you have any questions regarding our content.

      Ross 🙂


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