Testing times- Students tackle stress test

HANDLING THE STRESS: Year 12 students Jamaica Sparks and James Moorhead.
HANDLING THE STRESS: Year 12 students Jamaica Sparks and James Moorhead.

THE Higher School Certificate exams are one of the most stressful times of the year for Year 12 students across Australia.

More than 60,000 students sat the first English exam for the HSC last Thursday.

Glen Innes High School English teacher Jill Malone said students that prepared well should have less exam stress.

Year 12 student Jamaica Sparks said she found the lead up to the HSC exam stressful because of pressure from parents and teachers to do well on the test.

 “I have been doing a bit of bike riding and reading to deal with the stress, but I don’t think there is anything that can stop all of the stress because it is always involved with this type of pressure,” she said.

“Once I got into the exam I felt better because I think it was a pretty good test that I think I handled well,” she said.

Fellow student James Moorhead said he repeated a positive mantra to himself leading up to the exam to lessen his stress levels.

“I just kept telling myself that this test is not the be all and end all of my life and that made things a lot better for me,” he said.

“I tried to stay as calm as I could for my preparation because at the end of the day doing well or not on this exam is not the end of the world.

“Once I got into the exam I found all the questions touched on things we’d already done in class so the exam really became just like any other.”

A study by the University of New South Wales found that more than 40 per cent of Year 12 students experience concerning levels of anxiety in their final year.

In response ReachOut Australia wants to reassure students that there is life after the HSC regardless of the mark they receive.

ReachOut Australia CEO Jono Nicholas said young people should know that that there are many different options available for their future.

“We want young people to know that school marks don’t define you,” he said.

For tips for parents and students to manage HSC stress visit reachout.com/examstress