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3025 Ness Avenue Unit J
Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Exam anxietyExam Anxiety

Exam anxiety is real and can sabotage all of your hard work. Many well-intentioned adults will tell you that you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Unfortunately, this powerful emotion does not seem to listen to reason. Indeed, anxiety is one manifestation of a hampered fight or flight response. In situations of great danger, we have evolved to be able to flee swiftly or to stand our ground if need be and battle with superhuman strength fueled by adrenaline coursing through our veins. This is an automatic response to danger and assembles all available energy to be deployed in running or fighting. Sadly, there is no power left for thinking. That would be helpful because in modern situations of fear, like exams, neither running nor fighting will resolve the danger successfully. So we end up feeling confused and stressed. With practice though, it is possible to find the adrenaline off switch.

Here are several suggestions to combat this educational scourge.

Visualization. If you have had a few situations where your fear has wiped your mind clean during an exam, there is a risk of associating all exam situations with that response. You may develop an anxiety habit. Of course, if you persist in your efforts to be a strong learner, as well prepared for the exam as three other students combined, you will eventually come to a better relationship with the exam situation. But “eventually” could mean hundreds of exams over the course of years! There is another way. It still requires time but visualization, usually associated with athletic training, has a good track record in association with defeating exam anxiety. In order to take advantage of this technique, you must have a good idea of the steps in taking an exam successfully.

  • Arrive at the examination room well rested and fed.
  • Have all of your tools and some spares like batteries and pencils.
  • Skim the exam to get a sense of where to start and what to expect.
  • Budget your time.
  • Do easier questions first to get yourself into a positive frame of mind.
  • Note values awarded to question to gauge the amount of work expected.
  • Read harder questions carefully and mark them before moving on.
  • Return later: you may have picked up a few clues on your way to the end of the exam but also, the ‘back of your mind’ will have come up with a few insights while you worked on other questions.
  • Do your best to answer every question and put down something no matter how tenuously related. In math, show as much work as possible so that your teacher can award marks for your knowledge of the process.
  • Review your answers carefully but only change them if you are sure of an answer.

In visualization, you would set aside time every day, perhaps just before sleep. Start by relaxing and calming yourself, intent on focussing on your visualization session. Then, imagine yourself in the exam situation going through the routine above calmly and without fuss. It is well to include some images of an apparently impossible question that gives way upon your return to it and a few that do not give way. Imagine the disasters that can happen like broken pencils, dead batteries and how you can deal with them in a calm manner. Enjoy some of the questions you had predicted would be there and for which you are particularly well prepared. Look around you at the other students. Some are finished early and others stay until the very end. Importantly, no one dies.


You will need to practice, preferably once a day, in this way until you notice that your mind is clearer and more effective during exams. This may take many repetitions. The number will vary depending on how entrenched your anxiety is.


Sit on your hands. Actors are familiar with the visceral butterfly feeling of adrenaline and must overcome it if their time on stage is not going to be disastrous. They have many different tricks but one that lends itself to the student situation is to place your hands flat, palms down, on the seat beneath your thighs. Press on your seat as if trying to push it away. Do this for about 30 seconds. Repeat as needed.


“There are no tigers in this room”. Remember that the fight or flight response is designed to deal with predators like tigers and bears. Some students have found it helpful to remind themselves that there is no need for adrenaline by writing the phrase “There are no tigers in this room” on a piece of scrap paper or somewhere on the exam.


Finally, know that your anxiety is a positive sign that you care and want to do well. You will need to maintain a certain reserve of self-doubt if you are to motivate yourself to do all the hard work needed to do well. No one enjoys exams (including teachers who have to mark them!) Still, as you get better at sitting for exams, it is rewarding to know that your mind is working in tandem with you to reach your goals. Happy studies!

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 On Friday, October 27, at the Annual Franchisee Meeting,  owners and staff from over one hundred Canadian locations gathered in Deerhurst, Ontario, to hear the announcement that Cathy VanKougnet of the Winnipeg centre had been awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for 2017.

What makes Cathy stand out is her ability to view the world through each student’s eyes. She feels for them and they can tell. Cathy excels with those students who are not as motivated, not as confident, not as independent as one would like. She recognizes that they need her the most. Cathy is a very reserved and humble person. She is quiet and conservative as well as soft-spoken. But when it comes to celebrating her students’ successes, there is no one as happy and loud. Every head in the centre turns as she calls for the clapper when a student moves up a level in their reading or finishes a word list. She is a consistent thrower of the fish despite her lack of stereo vision which means it is an accident if she catches it when they throw it back to her. 



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What Parents & Students Are Saying

Two of my daughters have been struggling with math significantly, so we enrolled them at Oxford Learning. Neither of them was thrilled about it. Within about a month of starting both their tutors and I noticed a change in their attitudes as they began to understand the concepts and get the math. I believe that a big part of this change for them is rooted in the testing that was done before they started. It let Alexis and her team know where MY girls needed to start in order to succeed. It wasn't based on their current age or grade, but on their current skill and ability in math. Starting from there, and with a very good educational plan in place, the tutors have been doing an excellent job of helping my girls make progress, and more importantly, start to feel capable and smart in this area again. Some of the skills they've been learning in math have also been spilling over into other academic areas and helping them there also. Centre Director Alexis has a phenomenal knowledge of math and is the first person my girls have ever met who actually enjoys math. This has been an eye-opener for them; that what has been so difficult for them can actually be enjoyed. Their tutors at Oxford Learning communicate that same enjoyment of the subject, and because the tutoring takes place in a very small group setting (3 students to 1 tutor) they are able to get immediate feedback on their work. This means that when they make a mistake it is corrected promptly and when they are doing the math correctly that is immediately affirmed. All of these things together is making this a very successful learning opportunity for my children and I am grateful. July 2018


Connor participated in the Oxford Study Skills this past summer due to difficulty in his second semester of Red River College. Along with the skills he learned at Oxford, a reduced class load ( he has auditory processing difficulties) and some intervention through the college he finished last semester with 2 A’s and 1 A+. We are very proud of him and he is proud of himself. He is taking the computer science program (BIT-Business Information Technology) at a slower pace (3 classes/semester vs 5), but he is learning and retaining the information and most of all enjoying the program. We are very glad we stumbled upon Oxford during an online search. It gave him some skills and confidence to improve his study habits and organization and improve his marks. Thank you , Nancy , John & Connor January, 2018

Study Skills Lead to Academic Success

We got our daughter’s report card just before the Christmas break and we are incredibly proud of her…all of her marks were in the 80s to 90s (except science where she got a 78%) but she’s working on that. It was so exciting to see how she has excelled from last year to this year. A Proud Grade 8 Mother January, 2017

The Study Skills for Math impact Other Subjects

Thank you to the entire staff at Oxford Learning for the time Adam has been here. Your encouragement and support have helped him become more confident and knowledgeable in the school work that he does. We very much appreciate everything that you do! From the Jagla family June, 2017

Ready for New Challenges

My son has been at Oxford Learning since May 2016. When we met with Alexis in May 2016, my husband and I were very concerned with his education. We had met with his teachers but they are only able to teach a certain way and that was not working for our son. In the 21 classes that he has been with Oxford Learning he has grown leaps and bounds and progressed from pre-K level in reading to Grade 3. His teacher and the entire staff is fantastic. I just thought you should know. Sincerely, S. Anderson Fall 2016

Summer is a Great Time to Catch Up

Oxford Learning has proven to be a great supplement to Jayden's education over the last 3 years and you have helped him become a better student because of it. I want to thank you for all your help and guidance along the way, as you have been an excellent source of knowledge, encouragement, and motivation for Jayden to be able to believe in himself (and us too). We are very grateful for the benefits we have gained thus far. Thank you again, Debbie December, 2017

Ready to Handle High School

We just got Jack's report card from the first term and we're very happy with him. We really think that Jack's tutoring at Oxford Learning has really made transitioning from 2nd to 3rd grade so much smoother. Thank you so much for all your great work! Aleta November, 2017

Summer at Oxford Learning Helps in the Transition to Grade 3

The year is humming along, we're already in the middle of October! Hope your year is going well so far. Just wanted to let you know that Gavin is doing awesome this year. He's a surprising kid - it can be easy to underestimate him but then he keeps shocking me with his progress. He's building on everything he has learned so far, everything that he gained during his time with you and other skills and taking it to a new level. There may still be some challenges ahead; he hasn't taken a test yet, but I am extremely pleased with how he is doing. Grade 1 seems to be going well too. I'll know more after the parent-teacher conference but no big problems that I can see. He's maturing. Also continuing with the piano lessons this year. It seems at this point we have moved beyond some of the basic reading, writing, fine motor skills. I will forever appreciate the role you played in getting him to where he is right now. We may be back at some point to work on other skills. But for now, we seem to be okay with the activities we are in right now. All the best, take care, Alison October, 2017

A Little Reader Moves On

I appreciate EVERYTHING that you have done for us! You and your team have given her not just information and tools to succeed, but also the courage and strength of mind and character to want to succeed on her own. THANK YOU! October, 2017

Oxford Learning Teaches How to Learn

Hope all is well. RJ is in Grade 11 now @ Oak Park High School. He is doing well and has been comfortably passing all his courses the last few years—a big improvement from his earlier school years. Definitely, Oxford Learning has really helped him—what a difference it made! All the best for 2016! Parents of RJ

How Summer Brain Camp Helps

If my son hasn't told you yet, his report card was one of his best. He is elated and feeling a confidence in his abilities that is new and exciting. He is coming along indeed! Marlene S. November, 2010

Oxford Learning Develops Confidence

Grace is growing in leaps and bounds since I enrolled her in Brain Camp this summer! I would love to have her continue to benefit from the learning she has experienced with you this summer....And again, I am so happy that I found your learning centre and that Grace has benefited so much from it! Cindy August, 2015

Summer Brain Camp for Knowledge and Confidence

Thank you for helping Hannah learn how to read! It's hard to imagine that just 7 months ago she didn't even know how to hold a pencil properly or that the letters of the alphabet all have different sounds. And now she's sounding out each letter as she reads a word and her motor skills have improved a great deal! So thank you for patiently working with Hannah. We hope to continue working with you! Kathy K., mother of Hannah, 3 years old September, 2011

Yes, 3 Year Olds Can Read

What a difference! When Caleb first started coming in the spring, it was a challenge to get him to come. And he hated school. But this September, what a pleasant change! I was dreading bringing him today but he told me that he likes school and he likes Oxford Learning. He enjoys coming now. And he is so much happier. Charyl, grandmother to Caleb, Grade 2 September, 2015

Oxford Learning Helps Make School Enjoyable

You remember how reluctant my son was to come when he first started? Well, given that we have had to miss a few classes because of my grandfather's health I was concerned that he might be unhappy when I told him we were coming this evening. But when he heard the news he said,"Yesss!" and looked very happy. It was no trouble at all to get him to come in. He enjoys what he is doing with you here and has really started to put it into practice at home and at school! Even his Grade 1 teacher noticed that he is asking more questions and showing interest in a way she did not expect of him. I think he understands what is going on better and so he notices if he is missing some information. Amber December, 2010

Oxford Learning Builds Understanding

Thursday evening, Steven was so funny! After he left, his first comment was 'I was soooo on task today!' He then told me he was so focused that he finished 2 books and still had 5 minutes left. I never thought he'd get so excited about his own 'focus' and 'being able to stay on task'. Great work! Mother to Steven, 9 years old October, 2011

Oxford Learning Builds Focus

I have really noticed that Michael's confidence is up and it's because, for the first time, he's started the school year in a position to do the work, thanks to Oxford Learning! I really think that his time spent at Oxford Learning and especially over the summer months helped. He's already mastered all his spelling words for the month and they are all at grade 7 level. He told me he read part of a chapter book to the resource teacher and he told Michael that he was "impressed". Thanks again, Sunny September, 2013

A Summer at Oxford Learning Can Help Catch Up

Thanks for all you have done for Alicia! We have noticed a definite change in Alicia's confidence, not only related to school, but in other areas as well. Hopefully, Alicia will continue to use the tools you have provided her for studying, and she will continue to apply them without attending tutoring on a regular basis! Alicia really appreciated Jacqueline; she not only was able to become more confident in her French, but Alicia learned from Jacqueline that learning is a lifelong process and can be enjoyable! Thank Jacqueline for that! If anyone is ever in the need of tutoring, I will definitely recommend Oxford Learning to them! It has been a pleasure coming to the centre and witnessing the work you do with the students who attend! Thanks again, Sheri May, 2012

Oxford Learning Helps Establish Lifelong Learning

Oxford Learning staff have been a lifesaver for my daughters for the past five years. We owe Oxford Learning and particularly Alexis and Jacqueline a mountain of gratitude for their invaluable contribution to my children's development. Oxford Learning helped my high school daughter develop her study skills and time management skills, as well as raising her self confidence and allowing her to work up to her potential. They helped in her transition from high school to university and she is now a very happy and successful student at the U of Manitoba. Our elementary school daughter was underachieving but when Oxford Learning staff discovered her auditory function disorder, they dug in and helped her. She continues to go to Oxford Learning three times a week and will be going until she graduates from high school. Oxford Learning helps her with the school schedule and her extracurricular activities, to plan her study time and concentrate. She is thriving and so proud of herself, and we are so lucky and grateful that we have found Oxford Learning. Thank you! Anonymous March, 2014

Oxford Learning Teaches Study Skills and Time Management

Dear Alexis and the crew at Oxford Learning, We are at the end of our second year with Oxford Learning. Where I once had trepidation, I now have great anticipation for Jorden's future. You are an important cog in the journey Jorden is on. I thank you profoundly for giving us hope. Annette December, 2013

Oxford Learning Can Be the Light at the End of the Tunnel

My daughter has only had six classes in Little Readers but this week, her Kindergarten teacher emailed me to say she has seen 'remarkable' progress and to keep up whatever I am doing! I had already noticed improvement myself but was so pleased to have an external confirmation. Amanda, mother to Reese, age 5. February, 2015

Little Readers Improve Their Reading

What's New at Winnipeg

March Break 2018

Free Workshops

  1. Study skills: when, how, what to study. March, 26 1-2 pm
  2. Time Management: how to do it all – study, homework, friends, play. March 27, 1-2 pm
  3. How to focus and avoid distractions – procrastination can be defeated. March 28, – 1-2 pm
  4. How to manage exam anxiety - March 29, 1-2 pm
  5. Learning styles – March 30, 1-2 pm

Please call 204.944.0898 or e-mail winnipeg@oxfordlearning.com to register. Limited enrolment.

Math for the Motivated

Have a sneak peek at the trickier concepts in your high school math course. If you bring in your outline (in advance), we can identify upcoming concepts that throw most students for a loop. You will work on them and a few master level tricks during your 15 hours. We will introduce you to a method for learning new material that will help you become an independent learner. 

This program is for students who want top marks but do not want to live at their desks, who believe that it is not what you do but how you do it that makes the difference.

An assessment of reading comprehension and math knowledge is required. Please book it well in advance of the course (The $50 assessment fee will be credited to the course fee at the time of course fee payment.)

Where: Oxford Learning, 3025 Ness Avenue, Unit J.

Small Groups: (maximum 2 students per instructor)

Who: Students in grades 9 through 12 and Calculus

When: 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Monday to Friday March 26 to 30, 2018

Fee: $450.00

This summer, students can choose between Brain Camps in Math, French, and Study Skills as well as the core programs that run throughout the year. Oxford Learning is a Canadian company that has been helping young people reach their potential for over 30 years.

Eight-year-old Keran was excited to learn how to square multiples of 5 last summer. His mother reported that he felt good being able to do some mental math that his teacher had to check with a calculator.

Claudia first attended Brain Camp in 2012. Over time, she discovered that study skills apply to math as well as anything else and surprised herself by becoming a strong math student.

Oxford Learning Summer Camps

Math Can Be Fun!

Sometimes enjoyment of math is hampered by lack of specific skills. The Summer Brain Camp at Oxford Learning addresses skill gaps by identifying them with a placement test. A program designed to match each child’s specific needs ensures your child will build an understanding of math basics while learning insider tips to build math confidence.

Beat the Summer Brain Drain

For children to feel confident in math, they need mastery of certain core material. A two-month break may wipe out many of the gains made during the school year. Math Camp is an easy way of maintaining momentum and even gaining ground. A flexible schedule means that parents can work around camping trips and other commitments while ensuring that their child will return to school with good retention of last year’s concepts, ready to take on the new material with enthusiasm!

Who: students from 6 to 17

What: up to 8 math concepts based on an academic assessment (book early by calling 204.944.0898 or emailing winnipeg@oxfordlearning.com)

Where: 3025 Ness Avenue

When: any collection of 10 or more weekday afternoons, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, between June 28 and September 5, 2019

Why: Math should be fun and can be with the right exposure and foundations.

Math is important. We make it fun.

French Can Be Fun!

Every Canadian student takes French at some point. Whether it’s introductory classes, immersion, or French First Language, learning French isn’t always easy.

Sometimes the enjoyment of French is hampered by lack of specific skills. The Summer Brain Camp at Oxford Learning addresses skill gaps by identifying them with a placement test. A program designed to match each child’s specific needs ensures your child will build an understanding of French basics while learning tricks and tips to build French confidence.

Beat the Summer Brain Drain

A two-month break from French practice may wipe out many of the gains made during the school year. French Camp is an easy way of maintaining momentum and even gaining ground. A flexible schedule means that parents can work around camping trips and other commitments while ensuring that their child will return to school with good retention of last year’s concepts, ready to take on the new material with enthusiasm!

Who: students from 6 to 17

What: improve French basics and develop French skills, starting with an academic assessment (book early by calling 204.944.0898 or emailing winnipeg@oxfordlearning.com)

Where: 3025 Ness Avenue

When: any collection of 10 or more weekday afternoons, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, between June 28 and September 5, 2019

Why: Say “oui” to better French grades.
French is important. We make it fun.

Studying Can Be Fun!

Studying is a fact of life for students but, when it comes to study time, not all students know how to work effectively. That’s because study skills are not usually taught in class. When test time rolls around, students can find studying stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be: with the right skills, students can change studying from stressful to stress-free!

Beat the Summer Brain Drain

With school on break, summer is the perfect time for students to develop better study skills.
Study skill programs are an easy way of maintaining momentum and gaining ground. A flexible schedule means that parents can work around camping trips and other commitments while ensuring that their child will return to school with good retention of last year’s concepts, ready to take on the new material with enthusiasm!

Who : Grade 6 to University

What: Develop stronger study skills, starting with an academic assessment (book early by calling 204.944.0898 or emailing winnipeg@oxfordlearning.com)

Where: 3025 Ness Avenue

When: any collection of 10 or more weekday afternoons, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, between June 28 and September 5, 2019

Why: Learn the skills that maximize study time.
Study skills are important. They make learning fun.

Our Team Members

Alexis Yildir

Alexis Yildir

Centre Director

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Sarah Legendre

Sarah Legendre

Education Coordinator

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Eric Allec

Eric Allec


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Cathy VanKoughnet

Cathy VanKoughnet


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Ying Ying Yang

Ying Ying Yang


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Miriam Mazor

Miriam Mazor

Instructor - Math and Science

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William Kellough

William Kellough


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Lizabeth Harris

Lizabeth Harris

Little Readers Teacher

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Crystal Coumont

Crystal Coumont


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Darren Xie

Darren Xie


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Brinda Devi Chengadu

Brinda Devi Chengadu

French instructor

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Math tutors in Winnipeg

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French tutors in Winnipeg

Oxford Learning®’s French tutoring programs help students build the skills and confidence needed to learn languages. Our French tutors develop your child’s Français in all areas.

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