With many Victorian high school students gearing up to sit their ATAR exams, experts are encouraging students to learn to cope with the stress in the lead-up to a busy exam period.
Edith Cowan University (ECU) Education expert Dr Mandie Shean reminds students it’s important to try your hardest, but there’s much more in a person’s future than just exams.
Watch her tips to managing exam stress below:
1. It’s normal to feel stressed
Whenever you do something that’s challenging, feelings of stress are showing you that you’re a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Those uncomfortable feelings are normal. Everyone feels them and they’re not a flag to say stop what you’re doing and retreat. They’re a flag to say you’re going to grow and learn and be a better person at the end of this. Push through uncomfortable feelings.
2. Don’t fear failure
When we’re doing something challenging, we can often fear failure and that leads to stress. But it’s important to remember there are multiple pathways to success and one failure doesn’t define your life.
3. Don’t overthink it
When we’re stressed, we tend to think about the bad thing over and over. What that’s doing is telling your body that you are under threat. It’s important to distract yourself, to think about something positive and to take control of your thoughts.
4. Understand how you like to work
A really good way to reduce exam stress is to be prepared. Make yourself a good study schedule. Work out whether you like to study alone or with friends. Eat well, drink lots of water and sleep well. Preparation really helps reduce our sense of threat before the event.
Another great resource is the Better Health Channel, find tips on managing stress in Year 12 exams here