Timely advice for exam time

22 September 2017
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With exams on the horizon, Beaconhills’ Head of Wellbeing, Yvonne Ashmore has put together some wonderful tips for students on coping with exam stress.

Many of these ideas are simple but truly effective if put in place early. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start.

I would like to wish all our students a restful holiday break and look forward to seeing you in term 4.

Yvonne Ashmore’s exam advice:

• Ask who can help me? Identify a person or people who can help and challenge you as you head toward exam times. This person can be a kind ear when you are feeling stressed and someone to push you when you are procrastinating.

• Develop a coping menu. Think through all of the things that help you remain calm and focused. Share these with your support person and encourage them to remind you to use these strategies. They may include writing a study plan, studying in a common family area away from your bedroom, regular exercise, mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

• What’s the point? Be clear about why you are doing exams. Consider more deeply the reasons you are putting time, energy and effort into your education. It is easy to say “I am doing it because I have to” however more significant reasons may include wanting to go on to further study, looking forward to a well-paying career, developing a sense of achievement. This is not about knowing what you want to be in the future, this is about how you grow and develop your skills for the future.

• Use your class time. Students have frequently said that the simple idea of using class time well to complete work and ask questions can significantly impact on lowering your homework load and keep up to date. So arrive on time, sit alone or with others that are working hard, bring your questions and appropriate learning materials and review what you learned and still need to know. This will make a big difference to future stress.

• Take care of yourself. You need about nine hours of quality sleep to ensure you can concentrate, absorb information and maintain positive mood. Eat well, exercise daily and create balance in your day.

• Practise mindfulness. A calm brain learns more effectively. Practise short mindfulness techniques that help your brain to calm and focus.

• Develop a study plan and share it with your family. This plan will help you and others to see when you are studying effectively

• Put in effort. With effort and practise you will improve and so the greater the effort, the greater the improvement

• Ask for help. At school there are many people such as counsellors who can help you to maintain positive mental health and teachers to help you with specific learning topics

The upcoming issue of our Lux Luceat magazine has a wellbeing theme, with more helpful information from our teaching staff about exams – and much more.



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