What becomes clear when we visit schools, and work with young people, is that there is more pressure than ever before on them to succeed in those final GCSE examinations. With harder papers, and no coursework to support the final grades, there is a host of evidence to suggest that as the demands upon students grows, so do their levels of stress.
As the examination season grows ever nearer, here are 5 techniques that students can use to reduce their examination worries and help to maximise their final success.
Some examination stress can be a good thing – it can be channelled as a motivator towards eventual success.
However, too much stress will have a negative effect on your final grades. So if you begin to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, step away from the books for a while, take regular breaks, some exercise, and spend time relaxing with friends. This will reward your mind with a break and enable you to feel refreshed the next time you hit the books.
Often the most successful students will form study groups with friends. This provides moral support as well as the motivation of a team ethic as your peers are working towards the same goals as yourself. If it is difficult to meet in person, use your phones and tablets as a means of creating a group chat. Alternatively, combine it with a social event. Many coffee shops have wifi and large tables. Create a conference style approach to studying, and support and learn with each other.
Don’t wait for that that sinking feeling as the examinations approach and use the time that you have now. With 100% examinations you need to stagger your learning and build on your knowledge. The amount of content in the new examinations does not lend itself to leaving it to the last minute. Get organised, plan a revision schedule and use it as a basis upon which to go forward.
Consider which subjects you wish to prioritise and work out how much time you need for each one. Study regularly and give your brain a break every 45 minutes
There is no need to panic in silence when there is a support network around you.
The relationship between teacher and student need not be one of them and us. Do not be afraid to ask teachers for help – they will be only too glad to assist. Take the time to identify the points that you are struggling with – this will provide the teacher with a more efficient means of supporting you. What seems like a huge barrier to you could be easily removed by asking for some expert clarification.
Pack everything that you require in good time the evening before the examination to avoid any last minute problems. Make sure you use a pen that you are most comfortable writing with as well as any other essential items.
Rise early and make sure you eat breakfast so that hunger does not bite during the examination. Wear comfortable clothes with layers that you can add or remove – just in case of any temperature issues in the examination room.
Take responsibility for yourself! Put yourself in a position where you can look back upon your efforts positively and with no regrets, whatever your final grades.
Calling all teachers – come along to our next Teachmeet. The focus is how we can maximise the examination success of our students: North East Teachmeet