Oakridge Expert’s Article by Ms. Supriya Anand Rao, Senior School English Faculty
Exam stress can affect any student. Whether they’re a high achiever at the top of their class, someone who coasts through without worrying too much about their grades, or a student struggling with a particular class or topic, when exams and assignments roll around, all types of students can experience stress.
Stress is one of the body’s natural responses to something that is threatening or frightening. It is something that we all experience from time to time. Many aspects of university life have the potential to cause stress, including adjusting to a new living environment, fulfilling academic requirements, developing friendships and preparing for and sitting exams.
Stress has been defined as a natural response – it is our body’s way of rising to a challenge and preparing to meet a tough situation with focus, stamina, and heightened alertness. Exam stress in recent years has emerged as a major issue of concern that canvasses the views of thousands of secondary school students.
Stress around exam time can not only impact on a young person’s general wellbeing, but it can also be difficult for the whole family. It’s important to learn how to support your teenager during exam time to help them manage their stress and reduce tension at home.
Examination stress is self-induced. Stress tends to occur when one feels that the demands placed upon students exceed their capacity to meet them. The stress response is a physiological response to an event that your ‘primitive’ self perceives it as a threat. Scientifically speaking “Stress” responds by releasing stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol and is related to the nervous system. This prepares our students to ‘fight or flight’ – whereby they either face the threat directly or run.
Schools need to have a systematic and comprehensive approach to support student mental health and wellbeing through the implementation of mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention strategies.
A certain amount of stress can be helpful: it can help students to cope with real emergencies or difficult situations, to meet and overcome challenges, and to achieve goals. However, if stress becomes prolonged or too intense, it can have very negative effects on a student’s health and well-being.
While some exam stress is probably inevitable and can be harnessed to ensure that, you give your best performance, for some students exam stress can become all-consuming and can impact negatively performance. Apart from harnessing their academic skill and making steady progress throughout the semester, we at Oakridge encourage our students to manage exam stress through the following steps.
We need to understand as adults that’s it’s not always easy to get the motivation to start becoming active, so it’s helpful to learn ways to get that push you need. If we encourage our students to plan their activities and personalize them to their interests and fitness level, as well as try to see exercise as the positive and rewarding thing it is, they will be much more likely to cope with the Exam Stress they go through. N. Supriya Anand Rao Senior School English Faculty