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Ways to cope with PSLE stress!

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Examination is a common thing for all students. After every term, they will have a test or an examination to test their understanding and this usually stresses students out as they will have to study a few topics a week before the examination while juggling with their co-curricular activities and other commitments.

So, why do we have examinations in the first place?

Examinations are set aside for teachers to check the understanding of their students so that they will be able to adjust the lessons to make them fit the learning style of the respective classes they have. It is also used to motivate students to study so that they will have a well-paced study schedule during their school term and not cram all of their studying in the week before their final examinations. And lastly, examinations are crucial to be a quantifiable way to track the progress of students to help them in identifying their strengths and areas for potential improvements so that students will focus on all of their subjects instead of just on their favourites.

Hence, having examinations are inevitable and fret not, below are some ways to help you cope with your exam stress:

Set realistic study goals

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier

Knowing that good results don’t come overnight, it is better to take baby steps to achieve your desired results.

Before the start of every school term, you can set a list of targets to achieve after every term. For example, for term 1, you hope to improve

your language, so you will take small steps to improve your day-to-day communications and gradually read up more on topics that interest you which can help you improve your language too.

Also, you can start by having a to-do list and write down 3 things to complete per day as compared to having a long list of things to complete every week or month. This can prevent you from overwhelming yourself with a list of too many things to do which can further stress you.

Pace yourself

Learn to pace yourself through the entire school year and not cram everything in the week or even the night before your exams. It is better to start off your term by having a rough idea of what you will be learning. You can find information on the subjects by looking through your textbooks or searching for their learning outcomes or syllabuses online. After knowing what you are going to learn, you will be able to plan the amount of time needed to prepare for each topic every month and gauge how long should be spent on revisions after learning the topics. This will prevent you from feeling too swamped by the high amount of workload when the school term starts.

Take short breaks

Singing your heart out, going for walks, and doing things you enjoy can elevate your mood and bring your mind away from your studies for a while. Research has shown that taking short breaks, between 15 to 20 minutes, can help you reduce stress, and also increase your productivity levels as it will help your mind refocus, making you more alert while studying.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is something that we take for granted. Thinking that staying up to study every night will eventually make you a hardworking and smart student. On the contrary, this is not the case. In the long run, insufficient sleep will result in issues such as loss of focus in class but it can also lead to health issues too. Some health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and poor mental health. With such issues, it can further stress you out in class. Hence, sleep is very important for students as you are still growing and with the proper amount of sleep at night, it can help you stay focused, improve your concentration in class, and ultimately, improve your academic performance.

Have an organised area to study

It will be good to declutter your study area or table so that the stuff around you will not hinder your ability to focus while studying, hence reducing stress levels. You can start by removing or filing any stack of papers or worksheets you have or have a to-do folder to keep all of the work that is due soon, or you can also add a small plant on your table to encourage feelings of calmness and reassurance.

Additionally, you can also clean up your digital desktop. Having too many digital files scattered all over your computer will make it hard for you to find what you need. You can organise them by creating a system of folders and making sure that all the files are in their respective folders. If there are things that you don’t need, you can just delete them from your computer.

Talk to someone

When you are stressed or struggling, you can find someone to talk to about your problems, and what you are facing in school. Asking for help is never shameful. The person can be from your family, friends or even teachers. Speaking to someone is better than keeping all of your emotions inside of you and worsening your mental health. You might also gain advice from them about ways to help with the problems that you are facing.

Focus on yourself and don't compare yourself with others

Everyone studies at different paces. Comparing yourself to the productiveness of your friends, can in turn, make you more stressed. It may backfire and make you less productive. Everyone is different and you do not need to always match your friend’s study pace. Sometimes you will take a longer time to understand a concept and it's fine! In the end, you just need to be able to get what’s being taught in school and apply it. Hard work always pays off. Put in effort and you will definitely see results. So remember to stop comparing yourself with your friends and causing unnecessary stress on yourself.

To conclude, remember that whenever you are stressed, there are people and resources all around you to help you in times of need or you can always take a break. Being stressed with school work is common and many students face them so do not be afraid to ask for help or take a well-needed break.

All the best in your studies!

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