By Community Correspondent Roshini Fernando.

Exam season has arrived and students doing their GCSEs and GCEs are suffering stress and worry, as they struggle to cope with the workload and high expectations.

Current year eleven, year twelve and year thirteen pupils report that revision is affecting all aspects of their life, including their sleeping and eating habits. A year twelve student, Shraddah Sharma, said “Exams have disrupted my normal sleep routine and have consistently resulted in my lack of appetite.” Teenagers are finding it hard to deal with revision and the demands from those around them to get model grades.

There are various methods which may help to relieve and reduce the stress of exams. The most important recommendation is that time is organised and used effectively. Many pupils use avoidance tactics: they would rather carry on socialising as normal so that they don’t have to face up to their academic weaknesses; however it is essential that students confront and overcome their fears and use their time to actively revise.

Active revision involves the stimulation of brain activity and tools such as mind-mapping and cue cards prove useful because they help to condense the information required as well as improve the understanding of the subject matter. Revision groups are also ideal for those who are more social learners, but all members of the group must stay focused and on task. It is important to take regular short breaks between long blocks of revision, so that the brain has time to rest and revitalise before absorbing more. Distractions are one of the biggest problems for those studying and so finding an isolated quiet area can often stop students from straying from revision. The best source for students is past papers, which can be used to test and improve their knowledge and should be used in conjunction with mark schemes so that it is clear what the answer should be and what the examiners want.

Daisy Keogh, a year twelve student, kept up with her extra-curricular activities to allow her some time to relax, without taking up too much time. This left her more willing and prepared to revise for her subjects. She said, “I think that an activity outside school or a hobby that takes your mind off of the exams could help reduce your stress”.

Exams can often lead people to doubt their abilities but it is the time where confidence and positivity are most vital, because it heightens a student’s capabilities to revise more effectively and thus it becomes easier for them to succeed.