Students under the pump to succeed
ALMOST two-thirds of young Australians are experiencing worrying levels of exam stress driven by a self-generated pressure to succeed.
New data from youth service ReachOut found that despite high levels of exam stress, 66 per cent of students said they did not seek external help to manage stress at exam time.
The results of a nationwide study revealed pressure by parents and teachers was not the main cause of exam stress, with most of the students putting pressure on themselves.
Almost 70 per cent of young people aged between 14 and 25 said exam stress was driven by a self-generated pressure to succeed compared to 40 per cent who said they were worried about finding a job.
One in 10 students reported suffering “extreme stress” from exams. One-third of those surveyed said pressure to get a spot in a university course was also feeding their stress.
Researchers also found that despite high levels of exam stress, 66 per cent of students didn’t ask for help to manage this stress, prompting concern from mental health experts who said it could have a lasting effect. It comes amid a debate about the standardised NAPLAN test, which critics claim triggers widespread stress among students.
With the HSC just over a month away, ReachOut CEO Ashley de Silva said teachers and parents should look for signs that students needed help coping with assessments.
Education Minister Dan Tehan said he encouraged students to learn the signs of stress and access help.
“My message to students is: you’re not alone at exam time,” he said. “I encourage parents, teachers and friends to be on the lookout and be prepared to step in.”