A survey of over 1000 children who sat key stage two tests in 2014 has revealed some worrying statistics. According to the survey (conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters) eight students smoked the morning of their test and 37 ate chocolate.
A further 30 students drank sugary drinks, 45 ate biscuits, 19 had a packet of crisps and nine ate a sausage roll/pasty. The findings also revealed that 68% of those surveyed said they felt pressure at exam time and 55% were worried that a bad result would affect their future.
Another poll was also carried out to get the parents’ point of view. Here it was discovered that 20% of parents said their children were too nervous to eat the morning of their SATs exams, with one in eight saying they refused food entirely.
Almost a fifth said their child’s behaviour became worse during exams and 74% felt their child was under more pressure than they were at their age. Around 22% of children admitted that they lost sleep due to worry, a figure that rose to 59% among those who skipped breakfast.
Dr Claire Halsey, a child psychologist, has expressed her concern regarding these results:
“It’s troubling that children are expressing so many worries about their exams.
“It’s natural to experience some pressure to perform before any test, even at age 10 and 11, but these results show that SATs have become more than a little nerve-wracking.”
John Coe, from the National Association for Primary Education also commented, saying children should eat a healthy breakfast to help set them up for success.
“A decent breakfast should set children up for success in their exams, and eating breakfast with friends at a breakfast club – and calming each other’s nerves about the tests – is a happy way of meeting the challenge to come.”