Stress and Exams
Positive Stress Management
Students who manage best:
- Maintain positive relationships with family and friends
- Continue to allow some time for exercise and leisure
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat sensibly
- Have planned time for study
- Are organised
- Learn and practice simple techniques for relaxation (see the school counsellor for ideas)
It is important to recognise when stress levels may be going beyond a helpful level. It is important to identify sources of stress if possible and to take steps to address them.
Warning signs especially where they indicate changes from usual behaviour:
- Poor concentration
- Poor short term memory
- Recurring worrying thoughts
- Lack of tolerance for others (you may not detect that in yourself)
- Anxious about little things
- Prone to bursts of anger and tears
- Indications of feeling 'down', alone or misunderstood
- Disturbed sleep
- Indigestion, poor appetite.
No one sign necessarily is cause for worry and these signs need to be considered in the context of the child's life at the time. It is better to seek help than to struggle with worries by yourself. Signs of depression or anxiety in particular should not be ignored.
Help should be sought from school counsellors, family doctors or others, sooner rather than later.
Teachers, year advisers and head teachers continue to make themselves available to students during the lead up to exams and can offer specific advice to individual students about their exam preparation. The HSC advice line operates each year prior to and during the exam period and students are advised of the number in ample time to make use of it.