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How to cope with exam stress

SANDTON – Too much stress can be overwhelming and stop learners from being able to study and function healthily.

While exam time can be quite stressful in any household, helping your children through it can make the biggest difference.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), there are several techniques that learners and parents can implement to help prepare for exams both calmly and methodically.

“A moderate amount of stress can be a good thing; it can sharpen your concentration and performance and help to create energy and motivation to keep studying. Too much stress, however, can be overwhelming and prevent us from studying and functioning healthily,” said Sadag in a statement.

Sadag recommends the following practices to cope with exam stress:

q Organise your time: Draw up a schedule, which includes everything that you need to do such as revision, eating, sleeping, school and relaxation. Allow for sufficient flexibility, be realistic about your time allocation and prioritise time for relaxation as it will decrease your stress levels.

q Stick to your deadline: Prioritise and do the most important topics first, allow more time for subjects that you find difficult and set specific goals for each revision period.

q What friends and family can do to help: Listen to the individuals concerns, be sensitive and provide the learner with support. Encourage them to take breaks and go out from time to time, help them seek additional support if the stress becomes too much.

q Study patterns: Take regular breaks from studying and when you notice that you are getting distracted, get up and take a break. Fifteen minutes of concentration is better than three hours of staring at a wall and feeling anxious.

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