With competition for university places getting steeper, the pressure on A-level students is more intense than ever before. So how can you prepare your child for sixth form without stressing them out? Here are a few of our top tips:
1. Your child may have mixed feelings about their A-levels before they've even started them. Assure your child that with the right discipline, they have as much chance as anybody else of attending a good university.
2. Unfortunately sixth form coincides with a very busy social time for teenagers. Explain to your child that if they do well in their A-levels they can socialise all they want at university. It's worth keeping social activities to a sensible minimum for two years to secure a bright future.
3. Check that your child is happy with their choice of A-level subjects and that their choices are accepted by their target universities. The top institutions are very fussy about what they accept. If they're not happy, they must tackle this and change subjects as early on as possible. Better to change and do some catching-up than to suffer later on.
4. Make sure that your child feels organised, happy and on top of things generally. Check in with them on a regular basis and reassure them that they can discuss any problems or issues with you - you're there to help.
5. Encourage your child to supplement their studies with some well-chosen activities. Not only will these help to refresh and recharge their brains, but they'll also look good on their UCAS forms. It's often these activities which help candidates to stand out. Visiting old people's homes, learning an instrument and taking the Duke of Edinburgh awards are good examples.