20 February 2019
Anxiety and Exams
Marie-Sophie Reijers, French Language Assistant, is interested in trying to identify and measure the evidence, if any, of an increase in levels of anxiety associated with preparing for and taking exams at Sevenoaks School. ‘Focusing mainly on Y11, my aim is to find out how we could help our students prepare for and take exams. My areas of interests are:
Firstly, whether there is evidence of an increase in levels of anxiety associated with exams at the school. Through interviewing relevant members of staff, and talking informally to a student groups I developed a student questionnaire. The anonymous questionnaire was distributed to all Y11s just after their November mocks. Encouragingly students responded in high numbers and in January I returned to the same Y11 tutor group to share my results and get their feedback. The analysis of the results is underway, and will highlight how students feel about exams and how we can help them prepare with maximum success and minimum stress.
Secondly, I am interested in what more can be done to help students cope with academic pressure in Y11. I plan to organise a focus group for Y10 students in order to make some recommendations for preparing students for Y11. Finally, I am looking at strategies already in place to help students prepare for exams and how departments describe the value of taking internal exams e.g. with reference to assessment for learning techniques. I hope to then be able to share good classroom strategies across the school community, which help to improve the experience of exams, reducing any associated stress’.
Further reading, available from ITL library
Collins-Donnelly, K. (2013). Starving the anxiety gremlin. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Dorland, S. (2010). Exam stress? No worries. London: John Wiley and Sons Australia.
Fitzpatrick, C (2015) A Short Introduction to Helping Young People Manage Anxiety. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Hamilton, D. (2003) Passing Exams: a guide for maximum success and minimum stress. London: Continuum.
Tompkins, M (2010). My anxious mind. A teen’s guide to managing anxiety and panic. Washington: Magination Press.
Willets, L. (2014) Can I tell you about Anxiety? A guide for friends, family and professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.