Helping Students Manage Exam Stress

Vanessa Tsang

Vanessa Tsang

Helping Students Manage Exam Stress

There is no lack of stressors in our students’ lives. Exams, especially major ones, are certainly among them. Students may struggle to manage exam stress and are unsure who to turn to for help and advice.

Knowing when and the extent to which students are experiencing difficulties coping, can put teachers in a better position to render help. Through this deck of downloadable activity slides, ClassPoint aims to help you do just that, and even more.

Check In on Your Students’ Stress

You can begin by checking in on students’ current stress levels through this simple starter activity using ClassPoint’s slide drawing function. The responses from this Stress-O-Meter activity helps students recognize that they are not alone in experiencing stress and are able to be honest about their struggles in a safe environment. ClassPoint’s activities allow student names to be hidden so that everyone can share their honest thoughts and feel safe doing so.

Just as experiencing pain is helpful in that it signals that a certain body part requires attention, likewise stress can also be beneficial and has its role. For instance, stress is a great motivator, drives people to better performance and builds resilience.

Change Students’ Perception of Stress

Helping students understand that not all stress is created equal allows them to see that stress isn’t an abnormal phenomenon that needs to be eradicated, rather, it is how stress is managed that is key to their wellbeing. Using ClassPoint’s short answer function to pose questions like when “when may stress be helpful?”, directs students’ thinking; opens their minds to perceive the positive roles it plays.

The best way to manage stress isn’t to reduce or avoid it, but rather to rethink and even embrace it

Kelly McGonigal

Teach Students’ How to Manage Stress

Once students are able to recognize when stress becomes unhelpful, equipping them with practical tips to manage stress will be the next stage. While there is a tendency to offer advice or suggest coping strategies, there is much wisdom in the saying “two heads are better than one”. So engage your class by having them brainstorm various ways of coping with stress through this image upload activity. Visuals is a such powerful and effective medium to help students better retain these strategies in their minds.

Having students think of solutions empowers them and promotes the idea that all students are capable of being enablers; a position to be able to provide concrete advice to their peers and not merely passive receivers. The practical suggestions from students may also be more age-appropriate which in turn increases the likelihood of their peers adopting some of these strategies.    

While self-coping mechanisms are important, close friends and loved ones also play crucial roles in providing support through stressful exam periods. And as individual needs differ, it can be useful to find out how students like to be supported by people around them using the word cloud function. This function in ClassPoint allows teachers to be able to identify responses made by every student; thus eliminating the tedious guesswork of identifying owners for every response. This easy identification will also allow friends and family members to demonstrate care and concern in precisely the way each student prefers, helping them feel cared for and accepted.

Responses from students in the activity below can also be shared with the parents during parent-teacher conferences and this can aid in strengthening involvement in their children’s lives.

 Don’t feel confined to using these activities only during the impending exam period. Anytime when you as the teacher sense that students seem to be experiencing stress, just download the slides and have a quick check-in with your students. Pick and choose the most relevant activities according to the needs of your students.

Vanessa Tsang

About Vanessa Tsang

I’m an educator and trainer who’s very passionate about sharing different and fun ways to engage learners. I’ve been interested in creative teaching methods since I was a kid…my favorite movie and inspiration came from Dead Poets Society!

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