This term has been challenging, much like the beginning of 2020. We have seen fires, floods and fights over toilet paper. But amid all the chaos, students haven’t stopped. From the classroom to the cloud, students have adapted to the curveballs thrown. Whilst it is hoped that the worst has been and gone, students must continue through to exams despite further potential adversity.
The end of term brings about heightened stress and anxiety on a normal day. But with the changes endured, it’s conceivable that students are currently experiencing more stress and anxiety than normal towards the end of the term.
What’s important for students to remember is not to place pressure on themselves or the end result. In adjusting to a new classroom setting and navigating education during a pandemic, students may feel the need to perform as normal. But in no way has what they have been through normal. After all the changes, encourage students to do their best. That may mean receiving a grade that is a little different than usual, but by no means unexpected. Encourage students to maintain the level of effort they apply to their studies and encourage students to accept the grade given the circumstances students have overcome.
For students, focus on what you can control. Situations may continue to change and fortunately, the health and safety of students trumps whether or not the exam is performed online or at school. Focus on the content and coursework, rather than the setting. Controlling the amount of effort put in or the hours spent studying and comprehending will make more of a difference than wondering when or how the exam will be conducted. Keeping focused on their own studies and goals will help motivate students across the finish line.
Plan … don’t panic. Amidst all the changes, what students do not need to do is panic. Our natural instinct is to expect the worse. To visualise or imagine situations that seem real, but have a catastrophic outcome. Address these concerns and imaginations by planning. Instead of panicking over the work needed to be done or failing a particular assignment, students can plan out their study schedule. Analyse the work covered in the exam and how much students know. Prioritising what students are not confident with over the topics they are, will also help reduce panic.
Maintaining the behaviour student’s normally employ for study block, whilst not in ‘normal’ times is important. In treating the upcoming assessment time like any other, students can focus on what is important – the content and exam. But remembering not to place pressure on grades or outcomes will ease the usual stress and anxiety that comes with study block!