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Nobody likes having to do exams. They are demanding yet inevitable parts of the education process that everyone has to face at one time or another. End of high school exams or final qualifications cause a lot of stress for students as they influence future vocational and tertiary education pathways.

Here is the list of Australian end of high school examinations:

  • In Queensland students sit the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE)
  • In New South Wales there is the Higher School Certificate (HSC)
  • Australian Capital Territory has the Year 12 Certificate
  • Northern Territory students sit the (Northern Territory) Certificate of Education as do pupils in South Australia (SACE), Western Australia (WACE), Victoria (VCE) and Tasmania (TCE)

No matter the qualification the intensity of the time leading up to and including exams is the same. Sometimes it is easier said than done to try and relax and put your faith in the process and your preparation work, but for your sanity’s sake it really is sound advice. Preparation and organisation are also key parts of surviving the examination process.

Here are a few ways you can manage your stress and still do your best:

Organisation is key

Start nice and early with organising your time and coursework. If you can get a routine for not just your homework but course revision too it will work to your advantage when your emotions can get the best of you close to exams. A routine will help you to stay focussed when you begin to feel overwhelmed.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

Ask questions, share information with your classmates, pick the brains of your teacher, find past exams, source abridgements, get online – anything you can do to get all the answers and information you need will help not just your revision but your nerves as well. Being thorough will ensure you feel confident that you are prepared for the coursework and the examinations.

Tutoring to help fill the gaps

Even with a teacher’s best intentions it is difficult to offer one-to-one support in a standard sized classroom. Engaging the services of a tutor could be the extra help you need to clarify any classroom information, handouts or assessment requirements. An added bonus is that many tutors are past or current teachers who may have access to past examinations, example assignments or even marking criterions.

Set goals and break them

One of the biggest triggers for stress around exam time is the undue importance we can place on them. Of course they are integral links to future educational pursuits, although they are not the be-all and end-all. Think about your goals in terms of career and educational pathways. Plan out your ideal scenario to get there, but also take the time to look at alternative ways of achieving the same end point. Being reassured that there are vocational courses, diplomas and certificates which can also lead to the same outcomes can take the immense pressure off the exam period.