Exam prepa­ra­tion be­yond study

South Western Times - - News - Emily Ace

WITH South West stu­dents pre­par­ing for WA Cer­tifi­cate of Ed­u­ca­tion ex­ams be­gin­ning next week, Bun­bury Cathe­dral Gram­mar School coun­sel­lor Dr Justin Har­ri­son has ad­vised stu­dents not to ig­nore phys­i­cal and emo­tional prepa­ra­tion.

“Aca­demic prepa­ra­tion of course is im­por­tant, but it is a very stress­ful time and I think one of the main things is self care and bal­ance,” he said.

“If you do noth­ing but study day and night for the week lead­ing up, you will be ex­hausted; your brain will be fried, you wont be able to think clearly.

“I al­ways talk about qual­ity of study time rather than quan­tity, so hav­ing fre­quent breaks, get­ting out into the sun­shine, get­ting ex­er­cise and look­ing af­ter your diet – spend time with fam­ily and keep things in per­spec­tive.”

Dr Har­ri­son said it was nor­mal to be anx­ious, but it was im­por­tant not to put too much pres­sure on your­self.

“It’s also about ac­cept­ing there is only so much you can do. If you have gone in and pre­pared as much as you can in the time you have, you need to tell your­self ‘the rest is out of my hands’,” he said. “The best thing is to ac­cept you are go­ing to be anx­ious and that is OK.

“It can ac­tu­ally be in­vig­o­rat­ing to be a lit­tle anx­ious, as long as you don’t let it get on top of you – if you find you are freez­ing up, speak to a trusted teacher, a fam­ily mem­ber or most schools will have a coun­sel­lor you can talk to.”

Dr Har­ri­son said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber noth­ing was per­fect and there were op­tions if things go wrong. “Not do­ing as well as you would like to in an exam is not ideal, but it’s very rarely the end of the world,” he said.

“We tend to get so fo­cused that we think ‘if this doesn’t work out the way we like, it’s all over’.

“Of course we know this isn’t true – there is al­ways an al­ter­na­tive path­way to get to where you want to go.”

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