Dealing with exam results stress

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dealing with exam results stress

University is very stressful for many people, it is a high pressure environment and it is so because our futures depend on how we do in university. During the term we deal with stresses relating to assignment deadlines and tests, then later in the semester we get stressed by dp lists which will determine whether we get to write our exams or not. If you get dp then the studying actually begins and if you have missed some lectures and haven’t really been paying attention during lectures  this is when you realise how much you don’t know and that you will be fighting an uphill battle and the time seems to be against you. Then exams start and you actually experience exam stress, you are even more stressed out if you have multiple exams per week and they are not well spaced out, you are calculating the minimum marks you need to get for each course and if you were not religious already you may even start turning to god, praying for help. You start thinking of the consequences of failing certain courses, because if you fail certain courses they block you from doing other courses in the following semester as they are prerequisites.

You write the exam and you fall into one of these three categories:

pre exam and post exam stress
via Buzzfeed

1 – You have a healthy class average and you found the exam to be manageable so you are pretty sure you passed and so the results for that course won’t stress you as you have a general idea where you will land (in the 60’s or higher).

2 – You had a healthy class average but the exam was rough you don’t know how you did but you are hoping you got enough marks to be over the subminimum required for you to pass that course.

3 – You barely made dp and you had to actually pass the exam in order to pass the course or even worse you had to get a mark for the exam above 60 when you were struggling to get 50’s in your class tests. You found the exam to be difficult but you are still hoping god answered your prayers and you have actually managed to steal a pass.

The thing is for most of us you are in different categories for different courses (the three categories I have just outlined above), course chowers will be in category 1 for all courses and they may be stressing about being on the dean’s merit list and maintaining their high marks for their elite bursaries, average students will have a mixture of the three categories but mostly they will be managing but there will be that one course they are finding very difficult, and student who are struggling with have a mixture of mostly category 2 & 3 and when you have more than one course where you are in category 3 for you are going to have a very stressful vac and you start thinking of courses you will be blocked from the following semester and possible risk of academic exclusion.

Category 1 people will have a relaxing stress free vac whereas the rest of us will have a variations of the following that I will mention below.

Things that most people will do during vac to try and not think about results:

- You will go home and try not to think about school because you have missed your family or your home town but the first thing everyone always asks you about is “how is varsity?” and “how were exams?” and naturally you will lie and say everything is fine without going into much detail because you don’t want to think of school and exams, you came home to relax, to enjoy your mothers cooking, to forget about that place called university. Your family is happy you are back for one day and you start being given chores and you will be over being home by the first week and missing your varsity freedom.

- You will try and go catch up and have a good time with your old high school or neighbourhood friends or relatives just to keep your mind off things, this usually involves a lot of liquor for many people until you have to go back to varsity.

- You will join the gym or go back to gym if you haven’t been going because school was keeping you too busy, just to destress and keep your mind off school.

- You will spend a great amount of time on the internet and social media to distract from thinking of exams and/or boredom.

- You start watching and catching up to local soapies which you have not been watching while at varsity.

 - You start watching all the series you downloaded on your laptop before going back home only to find out you will go through a season a day and the series you have won’t last the whole vac, you will end up resorting to watching normal tv to pass the time.

- People with cars and some cash saved up do cool things like taking road trips to fun places.

- If you are lucky enough maybe you will even take a real vacation instead of just going home.

No matter what you do during vac to keep your mind off results, it won’t save you from the nerves and fear of results day but it will have to do because what else can you do, as everything at that point is out of your hands. The days are long and stressful and all you can do is wait and find ways to occupy your time until you find out your fate and strategize your next move with the help of your faculty advisors from there.

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