As we enter exam week, students may begin to feel a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. Exams and tests are one element of learning and assessment here at the College, and it is important that students find ways to manage their organisation and planning for these assessments. Usually, the best way to cope with tests and exams is to be prepared – that means keeping on top of school work in an ongoing way and planning for revision sooner rather than later. Leaving all the preparation to the last minute is one sure way to increase stress and anxiety. When I did a search for the top study skills, these were the study skills that made every list.
- Time Management
- Set goals
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Avoid procrastination
- Utilise your teachers
- Get a study buddy
- Mistakes are okay – learn from them (Growth Mindset)
At the start of the year, all students attended study skills workshops. For those students who are worried about the week ahead, perhaps the notes and the learning from that workshop are a way to begin. These resources are accessible via the link provided to all students and parents at the beginning of the year.
Different people study in different ways and there is really no one correct way, but the tips and hints will certainly help with your organisation and planning. Since there is no one way, perhaps a study group or study buddy is one way to overcome some of the nerves. Research shows that peer-to-peer learning is very powerful, not just about the content being studied but also in relation to learning how to study and prepare.
For any task or assessment or exam that is coming up, no matter what the outcomes, each student should be able to look back and say to herself that she has done as much as she possibly can. We will work with whatever the result is.
Once again, while we strongly encourage each student to take this part of their learning seriously, we encourage each girl to own that her self-perception and self-worth is more than just a reflection of her academic results. We want each student in our care to hear and understand that she is a valued and loved member of this community, precious to us, and what she contributes in a broader sense to the St Columba’s College community is just as important as her academic learning.