Exams at Ormiston Venture Academy
At Ormiston Venture Academy we are committed to supporting our students and encourage them to do the best they can in exams. To help them achieve and succeed and to enable them to overcome exam anxiety and stress. Ultimately to help them move forward with college life or apprentice life.
We are proud of all our students’ accomplishments.
General exam stress-busting tips
Exam anxiety is experienced by many students and may include:
- excessive worry about upcoming exams
- fear of being evaluated
- apprehension about the consequences
- manageable by following a plan of helpful suggestions
Four main areas which can contribute to your exam anxiety are:
- inadequate rest
- poor nutrition
- too many stimulants
- insufficient exercise
- time management problems
- strategies for exam-taking
- academic information such as course requirements, lecturers’ expectations, exam dates and exam location
- knowledge of how to apply anxiety reduction techniques
Poor studying styles:
- Inefficient: inconsistent content coverage; trying to memorize the textbook; binge studying; all-night studying before exams
- Ineffective: reading without understanding; cannot recall the material; not making revision notes; not revising
- feeling little or no control over the exam situation
- negative thinking and self-criticism
- irrational thinking about exams and outcomes
- Irrational beliefs “If I don’t pass, my (family/boyfriend/girlfriend/friends) will lose respect for me”; “I will never get the results I need.”
- Irrational demands “I have to get at least a 5 or I am worthless.”
- Catastrophic predictions “I’ll fail no matter what I do—there’s no point.”
You know you can do it…
- Believe in yourself and don’t worry excessively.
- Don’t try to be perfect. Aim to do your best but do recognise that none of us can be perfect all of the time.
- Take steps to overcome problems. Talk to your teacher or ask your exams officer if you have a question about the exam.
- Keep things in perspective. Interrupt negative thoughts with positive ones and actively challenge your irrational thoughts.
- Plan your study time with study sessions about 50 minutes long separated by 5 – 10 minute breaks.
- Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Tiredness increases anxiety. Resilience is helped by:
- positive thoughts
- healthy diet
- regular and adequate sleep
- Get accurate information from your Exams Officer/Head of Year 11 about the exam date, time and location as well as what you can/should take into the exam.
- Get yourself into exam mode. Practise on sample tests and look at past exams. Ask your Lecturer for advice.
- Plan. Rest well the night before. Arrive at the exam location early. If you can pick your seat, choose one away from the doors, windows or other distractions. Plan to monitor the time during the exam so wear a watch or sit where you can see the clock. Plan to wear layers of clothing so you can adjust your need for more warmth or coolness.
- Avoid bad things. Give coffee and other stimulants a miss. Avoid other people or things that may disturb your self-confidence, focus and level of relaxation.
- Leave plenty of time to revise so that you don’t have to do last minute cramming.
- Develop a timetable so that you can track and monitor your progress. Allow time for fun and relaxation,
- Take a short break as soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration, but don’t get distracted.
- Experiment with alternative revision techniques.
- Don’t drink too much coffee, tea or fizzy drinks; the caffeine will make your thinking less clear.
- Regular moderate exercise will boost your energy, clear your mind, reduce feelings of stress and help you sleep better.
- Whatever you do, don’t spend endless time criticising yourself for where you think you went wrong. Often our own self-assessment is far too harsh. Congratulate yourself for the things you did right, learn from the bits where you know you could have done better, and then move on.
- Plan to reward yourself for your hard work. After the exam, do something you enjoy. If you are going to meet up with someone, you could agree with them that you will only talk about the exam for 5 minutes – or even not at all. It’s important that you let the stress of the exam go, especially if you have more exams to sit.
- Smile, smiling throughout, take a deep breath and exhale.
The following guidance is published by JCQ for your information: