Practical strategies for stressed matriculants

The final countdown has begun! Matriculants all around the country are in the thick of the much anticipated (and most often feared) final exams! It is like climbing Kilimanjaro! The summit is clearly in sight and the anticipation of finality lies within reach on the horizon! BUT, there is a steep, seemingly treacherous climb to navigate and that is the Matric final exam!

Cindy Glass, Co-founder and Director of afterschool remediation franchise, Step Up Education Centre says, “Fear of the final exams is deep-rooted and reinforced from generation to generation! It is that fear of failure or of not achieving the desired outcomes that ensures that matriculants find this experience a less-than-pleasant one! Ironically, it is fear, anxiety and stress that will add unnecessary pressure to each individual and this could significantly slow or even halt their ability to effectively tackle these exams”.

It is with this in mind that Cindy share the following helpful strategies to ease the pressures of the final exams:

1. Know that you can do this! You can choose to make good choices today! Stamp out any thoughts of failure—do not entertain any negative beliefs about yourself. Remember, if you think you can or your think you can’t, you will be right!

2. Make sure you have a dedicated place of study. You need a desk and chair, good lighting and plenty of fresh air. The most effective way to study is pen-to-paper. You brain is able to remember information 7 times better if you write it down!

3. Use your study time effectively. That means – put off ALL distractions. No cell phones, no TV. This is about YOU and you need to have the courage and determination to make choices that honour you!

4. Break up your workload into bite-size manageable pieces. Use a desk calendar or something similar and write down what you will need to cover every day. Tick off as you go. This will give you direction and it will keep you motivated as you achieve each task.

5. During your exam, answer all the easy-mark questions first. Go through the paper and answer all the questions you feel most confident about. This will ensure you finish the paper, it will build your confidence and it will leave you enough time to tackle the more challenging questions. Remember to number your questions clearly!

6. Don’t forget to make time to exercise-even if it is just for 30mins a day. You need to take care of yourself more than ever at this time. Make sure you eat healthily-avoid sugars and refined foods. You definitely want to avoid energy drinks as they give you a false sense of security and could lead to a disastrous exam experience!

“These exams can feel overwhelming, but they are do-able! Do not invite fear, anxiety and stress in for tea! You can do this. Pace yourself, plan your study schedule, take care of your health. The summit is in sight – head up – step by step!” Cindy concludes.