The struggle is real: Tips to deal with exam stress

 By Jaclyn Bartlett
Times-News correspondent

Metro Creative Graphics

As the 2017-2018 school year draws to a close, students are preparing   for summer vacation.
But these last few weeks are anything but easy. Along with the end of   the school year comes end-of-year testing and whether you’re taking an   EOG (End Of Grade), EOC (End Of Course), or an AP (Advanced   Placement) exam, each seems to be accompanied by long hours of   studying and vast amounts of stress.
End-of-year assessments are required in public schools by several   states for the purpose of testing the knowledge and skill levels students   possess in certain subjects. These assessments generally take place over  the course of several hours and require intense preparation in   order to achieve a high score, causing a great deal of strain on students,   especially those who must now include studying to the list other responsibilities they already have.
This, added to the feeling of obligation to do well, creates anxiety in students which can impact their overall performance on these tests.
“The pressure to do well on the exams is the most difficult thing to deal with when preparing,” Marilla Morrison, a junior at The Hawbridge School, said in regards to the two AP exams she is taking this year. “The content itself is understandable, it’s just a lot of material to cover.”
End-of-year assessments affect students’ health both mentally and physically. Students often lose sleep as a result of staying up late to study, which alters their ability to focus as well as retain information. The immense amount of pressure students are put under can impact their health, too. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, extensive stress can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and even depression.
“Studying for exams has given me dark circles and I’ve lost weight because of it. There’s this constant feeling that I’m not doing enough,” said Anna Butler, also a junior at The Hawbridge School.
However, preparing for exams doesn’t have to be this much of a struggle because there are ways to improve your studying experience. Getting enough rest can improve your capability to focus so going to bed at a reasonable hour will help you to stay on task while studying. Exercising regularly and getting fresh air are also good ways to reduce the stress that may come from preparing for exams.
Taking a study break to go for a walk or jog can make a big difference in your mood. Using websites such as quizlet to test your knowledge on the subject can be helpful as well.
“Quizlet has been a lifesaver for me.,” Butler said.
But most of all keep in mind that whatever score you earn on your exam doesn’t define you, so as long as you give your best effort there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Jaclyn Bartlett is a junior at The Hawbridge School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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