Managing stress during exams:
Effective methods of promoting a congenial environment for test-takers
In Judy Churchill’s (2002) article: "Coping with Exam stress - the demystification and relaxation process”, it is argued that students dealing with exam stress has become a thorny issue leading to under-performance. This problem is the result of certain factors, such as the lack of familiarity with the exam’s format and fatigue, both of which may be avoided if students are given the possibility of living their exam as a user-friendly experience, and teachers are able to give them some advice about how to avoid stressful situations when it comes to sitting for an exam. Hence, this essay will consider arguments for creating such a placid exam atmosphere, where students do not feel at risk or overtaken by the possibility of obtaining poor results.
Regarding the first trigger of stress: lack of familiarity with the exam’s format, the author contends that it is of paramount importance that teachers give students the possibility of familiarising themselves with the format of the test. Designing mock or diagnostic tests before students sit for the real exam helps them boost their confidence in the foreign language production context. Furthermore, it is essential that teachers equip students with time management skills that aid them in allocating enough time to each section of the test. In order to do that, teachers may set students time limits on tasks they are supposed to perform in class. Realising that there is nothing out of the ordinary in the final exam and that they are capable of finishing it right on time encourages students to face the challenge of taking an exam.
According to the author, the second trigger of stress: fatigue, may be avoided if teachers urge students to get a good night prior to the exam. Sleep is vital since it provides an opportunity for the body to physically rest, as well as it is the time during which
Bibliography: Churchill, Judy (2000) - “Coping with Exam stress – the demystification and relaxation process”. Humanizing Language Teaching. Monaco and France.