Anxiety around exam time is widely felt by students and their families, and it is well-known that this can have negative effects on family life, health and wellbeing, self-esteem, and in the ability to perform in the exam.
With competitive exams such as scholarship entry qualifiers, students feel the added pressure of not only doing well, but also doing better than the other high-performers in the state!
Anxiety levels can be greatly reduced when students are properly prepared. But this is more than just memorising facts or studying concepts – it is also about what to expect in the exam, and how to attack the questions for the best chance of success.
There are a number of techniques and strategies that can help students find their way through the most difficult of questions – for example:
- using your time in the exam room efficiently and mindfully
- how to break down a question to know what it is actually asking, and to ensure all aspects of the question are addressed
- how to read an in-exam text quickly, while gaining accurate information at literal, inferential and applied levels of understanding
- writing well-constructed answers that demonstrate your knowledge and ability
- editing techniques for improving essays
- the kinds of mathematical problems to expect, and approaches to solving these
- awareness of what is being tested in a question/what elements in your answer will win you marks
With an understanding of and practice in these kinds of techniques and strategies, guided by a knowledgeable teacher, students feel much more equipped for their exam. They will know what to expect and experience a feeling of confidence – which will not only reduce anxiety, but give them the best chance of success.