Everyone gets stressed, it’s a normal part of exams. Being able to prevent and manage pressure is a vital ingredient to success in education. Constant assessments and exams are creating an environment which is putting a lot of stress on young people. This can affect their confidence, self-esteem and mental health. Our education system is predicated on the idea of academic ability, but is the nature, frequency and expectation of exams causing too much stress for students, and preventing them from reaching their true potential?
Around 3 million students will be sitting exams this summer, but recent reports from The ChildLine suggest concerning statistics about how young people are trying to cope with the upcoming pressures that accompany exam season. The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey revealed that 96% of the 1300 who completed the survey felt anxious about exams and revision, with 59% feeling pressure from their parents to do well and 64% saying they have never received any support in dealing with exams. Child protection campaigners NSPCC, report that in recent years there has been a 200% increase of young people in Britain seeking counselling as a consequence of exam stress.
It’s essential to acknowledge that exams are important; they help students to determine what’s next. So what’s the best way to help young people deal with the pressure of exams?
Here are some key tips and techniques to help students and parents deal with the anxieties of the exam periods:
- Having someone to talk to helps relieve stress and keep things in perspective, whether it’s parents, tutors or peers. There are also various support lines designed to provide advice for those suffering from exam induced stress.
- Parents must be conscious to remain sympathetic and ensure they don’t place too much pressure on their children.
- Teachers can relieve stress by assisting with revision and providing all-round support throughout the exam period.
- In higher education, students themselves can take a proactive approach to prevent and manage exam related stress. This includes creating revision plans and employing a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet, hydration and sleep.
- Introduce stress relief techniques into your lifestyle such as relaxation routines, physical activity and socialising.