As our Year 10 – 12 students prepare for their Semester One Examinations, their levels of stress can increase. It is timely to remind parents and students of some advice and information with regards to surviving the stress that comes with all assessment preparation and especially examinations.
Almost everyone feels a little nervous before an exam – it’s normal. In fact, a certain amount of exam anxiety keeps us energised, motivated, alert and focused. But too much anxiety can interfere with exam performance by blocking our recall or thinking abilities, by fostering negative frames of mind or even by promoting panic reactions.
Here is a modified version of Edith Cowan University’s tips to help you stay calm during the exam period:
- Prepare for your exams well in advance. Avoid relying on last-minute cramming in the days leading up to an exam.
- Put the exam in perspective. It’s only an exam. The result is not a reflection of who you are as a person.
- Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. It’s important that you feel rested on the day of an exam.
- Eat sensibly before the exam. Some people overeat when they’re feeling anxious, while others stop eating at all. Eating a nutritious meal can help you stay alert and focused for your exam.
- Stop studying about an hour before the exam. Use that last hour to try to relax and compose yourself before going into the exam.
- Know the time and place of the exam. Allow yourself plenty of time to get there. You don’t need the extra stress of worrying if you’re going to be on time. Also, make sure you know what you need to bring and get it ready in advance.
- Develop positive self-talk. Avoid thinking of yourself and exams in a negative way. Instead of thinking, “I know I’m going to fail”, try and think, “I’ll do my best”.
- Don’t talk about the exam before the exam. Don’t talk about the exam with your classmates immediately before going into the exam if you know that it will just make you more anxious.
- Read over the exam carefully and plan your approach. Taking a few minutes to work out how the marks are distributed for each question, how long to spend on each question, which question to start with etc., is usually time well spent.
- Relax yourself during the exam. If you’re feeling anxious or are not thinking clearly, just stop, close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths. Concentrate only on your breathing for a minute or so and then return to the exam paper. Taking a minute to calm yourself and refocus is time well spent.
Our prayers and best wishes are extended for every success to our students.
Mrs Belinda Pietropaolo
Acting Deputy Principal – Wellbeing