Help your teen be calm before the mocks

    As we speak Storm Isha is raging.

    With winds gusting up to 150kmh Ireland has been battered. As I write I have no electricity. I am powerless.

    Many students feel they are about to be battered right now also. Many also feel powerless. With the mocks rapidly approaching the storm clouds are on the horizon.

    According to 74% of students say exam pressure is a big concern for them in their life.

    For this particular cohort of students sitting their Leaving Cert this year, it is even worse. This is year group of students who had their Junior Cert cancelled due to Covid. Do you remember?

    Three years ago they went through torture. The Junior Cert was on. Then it was off. It was pushed out. It was delayed. Then it was cancelled. They were sacrificed that year and priority was given to that year’s Leaving Certs.

    For the class of 2024, they have a very disrupted secondary school experience.

    I can see and hear this every day in my practice.

    Many students and parents I am working with this year suffered a lot because of the disruption. Many of those students did not form good study habits. Many suffered depending on whether their school was able to cope with online learning.

    I know many students who struggle with maths because their maths teacher could not deliver maths classes through zoom.

    Now they are paying the price.

    So how can you help your teen of they are about to face the mock exams?

    1. First put it in perspective.

    The mocks are designed to make you nervous. They serve as a reality check.

    1. Second, do not make rash decisions.

    Many students can fail a mock paper and want to drop to pass. This can be a huge mistake. Keeping your eye on the prize is crucial. Having those conversations and keeping your teen calm is crucial.

    1. Third, reframe the situation.

    “I decided the Leaving Cert was overtalked about.”

    These are wise words from a Leaving Cert student.

    A couple of years ago, I got the call to work with twelve repeat students in a girls school in Sligo. The Principal of Mercy Sligo, Collette O’Hagan asked me to give the girls a boost. It was March after the mocks. Some of them felt a bit battered and bruised.

    After my seminar, one girls approached and asked me if it was possible to go up by 200 points. I told her absolutely it was.

    Her name was Cassandra. She told her friends told her it was only possible to go up by 50 points. We chatted and I shared some tools to help her stay calm and focused.

    Six months later she contacted me with great news. She went up by 200 points and got her first place in Trinity College.

    I will never forget her wise words.

    “The leaving cert is just a bunch of questions.”

    That’s it in a nutshell.

    Here is my interview with Cassandra here. (The first five minutes are gold.)

    A big part of my work is to help young people reframe the situation and put it all in perspective.

    One of the key strategies when I work with young people approaching exams is to reduce the stakes.

    When you are walking into a set of exams and you are thinking ‘I need to get 90%’, you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself.’

    We need to reframe it.

    It is just a bunch of questions.

    Reducing the stakes and state the obvious.

    This is how you learn to develop some calm before the storm.

    Until next time KEEP RAYSING THE GAME.



    We are now taking bookings for the RAYSE THE GAME MOTIVATION MARCH SEMINARS. We are 50% SOLD OUT. Last year, over 13,000 students attended a RAYSE THE GAME seminar. If your school has not had the programme then GET IN TOUCH NOW. ​


    If your teen is struggling in school or stressed about exams or cannot ‘knuckle down’ then coaching could be the way forward. We are currently enrolling for the February Cohort and I have 4 spots left. Watch this free webinar here and then book a parent Clarity Call with me where we can discuss your teen and what you can do to help them.

    Ray Langan

    Ray Langan

    I help students and young people go from anxious and overwhelmed to calm and confident (and get better grades than ever before). I show students how to study smarter and learn faster using my unique methods. I am an award winning speaker, coach and therapist and I can help you help your teen to RAYSE THEIR GAME.

    Upcoming Events

    Motivation March Seminars

    We are now taking bookings for the RAYSE THE GAME MOTIVATION MARCH TOUR. Get In Touch Now.

    Elevate coaching and mentoring programme

    ​Watch our free webinar here for more information and book a Clarity Call with me or one of my team so we can talk about your highly anxious teen.