During the next few weeks students throughout the UK will be facing the most academically difficult period of their young lives. For the cohort of the sixth form, and due to Covid lockdowns, it will be their first formal examinations which is quite extraordinary.
Fortunately, Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) have liaised with schools and the examination boards in an effort to relieve some of the stress from the students. This has accumulated with the examinations being written on selective topics which were published in February of this year. To allay fears of over stressing students, the Government has issued the following statement, “Remember you will be graded more generously this year”. The weakness with this message is that it sends the wrong message to some who may interpret that they can switch off.
Advice to students (childline.org.uk/info-advice)
It can seem scary to talk about stress or anxiety. You might feel like nobody else is feeling this way. But bottling up stress and trying to deal with it on your own can often make the stress worse. So, it can really help to talk. You may ask, “Who can I talk to?”. Suggestions include:
- • Parents
- • Teachers
- • Friends
Methods of preparation
- • Keep to a program of study
- • Don’t panic if you cannot keep up with your schedule. Ask for help and re-assess.
- • Break down your studying into small chunks.
- • Set yourself targets for each session e.g., “today’s target is Photosynthesis”
- • Include past exam questions in your targets (past papers with answers are available on the internet) check the answers and learn from your mistakes.
- • Give yourself regular short 10/20 minute breaks during your study periods.
- • Vary your methods of revision. There are innumerable excellent study resources on the internet including BBC Bitesize and various YouTube programmes. Your school will no doubt give you advice on which to use.
We all want you to do well so do not be shy in asking for help, and if you; the student; can say in all honesty that you have done your very best in preparing for your exams, then you will have no regrets as you progress through life.
Wishing students of all ages the best of luck in their forthcoming examinations.