As adults, we tend to look back on the horrors of sitting exams in blind panic and perhaps the awful unpicking of 'how did it go?' whilst hovering in suffocating corridors post-test. Even worse, being asked the same question by our parents and trying to look confident for their sake (or failing miserably under pressure and bursting into guilty tears). But how much do we remember the bubbling build-up to these exams that we deemed such huge events in our lives? The preparation, the revision, the study-leave, fun though it might have seemed at first to be given such freedom; suddenly our hands were no longer held and there was a huge weight on our shoulders to have it all figured out.
A rise in pressure
The Times Educational Supplement points out that 'as stress levels rise during exam season it can be easy for students to feel overwhelmed', but what are they overwhelmed about and how do we know if they are suffering from stress? According to figures released by Childline, 'more than 1000 counseling sessions were provided to teens worried about grades in 2016-17' that's a 21% rise since 2014 and Ofsted's Head, Amanda Spielman 'warned too many schools in England put their league table results above pupil interests, with pressure to boost exam grades overtaking important learning values' (The Independent); an interesting critique coming from Ofsted, known and despised by many a teacher for being paper-pushers, but nevertheless, there does seem to be a real void in addressing the wellbeing of these young minds during such an pressured time in their lives.
What are the signs of stress to look out for?
they may seem withdrawn/disengaged
loss of interest in things they would usually enjoy
changes in sleep & eating habits
lack of focus
hyper-sensitivity (emotionally & physically)
headaches & stomach pains
negative/hopeless about future
What are the common reasons for such stress?
Fear of failure
Guilt to others
Comparing to peers
Lonely in worries
Pressure from family
Ways to help make revision periods less stressful:
Local help in Dorking, Surrey
With more than half of teenagers admitting they have cried because of feeling stressed out by exams and 48% so anxious they thought they would actually be sick before sitting an exam, according to a recent National Citizen Service poll, 'pressure to achieve good grades and worries about securing further education places and jobs can be too much for some teens to deal with on their own' (Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive).
At Learn Grow Create Private Tutoring and Educational Centre in Dorking, this Spring Half Term we are providing a one day course to help combat exam stress, focus on wellbeing and prepare for study leave. With experts in the field, we aim to teach GCSE pupils what tools they can use to feel in control and at peace with their upcoming exams, whilst in a safe and supportive environment. We will also run a 3 day academic revision course in Maths, English & Science in the Easter holidays, with details soon to be released.
Click here to find out more.
Any other questions? Contact us at Learn Grow Create.