The Year 12 cohort at All Saints Grammar, like every other year group in 2020 has faced unforeseen challenges. They have adjusted to the teaching and learning of their courses, they have adapted to NESA changes, they have modified their interactions with their peers to new social norms, and most importantly they have adopted the School’s mantra of ‘Better Person Better Learner’. The Year 12 HSC Trials may have added another layer to the challenges of the school year – exam stress!

There’s a wide range of reasons why students may feel stress during exam periods. Sometimes the pressure you feel may help to keep you focused, other times if not properly managed, it may lead to difficulties in thinking clearly and calmly. Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, provides some practical advice on how best to deal with the potential stress during this time. They suggest:

  • Prepare a study plan and set realistic goals.
  • Look after yourself which includes eating well, exercising and sleeping adequately.
  • Staying focused by switching off your mobile during study sessions.
  • Asking for assistance from peers, teachers, or parents if you are finding that the stress is becoming distracting.

More detailed advice is offered on the headspace website:

If the stress is getting to students, it will prevent them from studying effectively and confidently – it is important to ask for help if needed!

It is imperative that parents communicate with the School if they are seeing signs of unhealthy stress with their child during the time of exams.

Kids Helpline and ReachOut Australia also offer a range of practical tips for students on how best to deal with stress during exams. The common thread between these organisations reinforces the message that stress during this time is not unusual, however with the application of relevant study techniques and the support provided by the teachers at All Saints Grammar, together with the student’s family, students can navigate the challenges of exam periods and minimise unnecessary exam stress.

Having a growth mindset approach enables students not only to overcome obstacles but to come through the other side as individuals who are strong-minded, purposeful and resilient learners capable of facing adversity.

Thomas Psomas
Head of Student Wellbeing/Head of Primary