Meet challenge to reduce stress

Emily AceSouth Western Times

The final countdown is on for Year 12 students, with WACE exams to officially begin with Chemistry and Geography on Monday.

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School head of psychology said while it could be a difficult period for students, it was also exciting.

“It is probably a bit of a stretch to enjoy the exams, but kids who really see it as a challenge tend to get less stressed about it,” he said.

Mr Lincoln said the first priority should be setting realistic goals.

“Obviously they are going to feel stressed, but that is OK because it is a stressful period,” he said.

“As long as they keep on top of those sorts of things, set good goals and are sleeping, eating and exercising well – I think the generation going through now are handling it better than past generations.

“As long as they have tried as hard as they can, whatever happens, they will be alright – we know that from experience ... they need to keep that perspective.”

Parents are also an important part of the process, but Mr Lincoln said they were not always aware of how to help best.

“Kids know themselves what the best way is, whether it is asking for help with study, to make a snack or to keep their little brothers and sisters away – whatever it is, they need to ask,” he said.

Bunbury Senior High School deputy principal academic performance Kelly Anderson said her students were confident heading into the exam period.

“I have found that this year’s group are finishing quite strongly in general which is really encouraging,” she said.

Ms Anderson said the opportunity to complete mock exams had taken away a lot of the trepidation.

“To have that familiarity with the routine and all the rules they can relax on that part and just stay focussed on the exam they are about to do,” she said.

She said it was important to “touch base with the real world” while studying and stressed the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

“It shouldn’t be about what you do in the last few days before exams, it’s about your whole year’s work rather than hoping you will get over the line with a last minute cram,” she said.

“Being run down doesn’t help your thought processes.”

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