A Balance Between Resilience and Well-Being
The examination period can be a stressful time for students and it is important to strike the right balance between resilience and their well-being to give themselves the best opportunity to achieve their full potential.
As we enter term three of the Upper School year, there is an increased focus on examinations. Older students sit externally assessed IGCSEs and A Levels whilst younger students sit internally assessed ‘end of year’ examinations. For our students this can be a stressful time and it is important to strike the right balance between resilience and their well-being to give themselves the best opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Harrow students are certainly motivated and determined in their approach to examinations. Alongside this, teachers support students with revision skills to help recall and apply the knowledge learnt to examination questions. Beyond this, it is the sustained independent learning undertaken.
Students who are resilient in their revision will positively affect their examination outcomes. Being dedicated to their revision can also lead to increased student confidence. Recent research from Professor Putwain (writing for the British Psychological Society) has shown that students who remain buoyant and less anxious during their examinations will perform better.
In feeling buoyant, well-being also plays a part and can help reduce anxiety. Eating well leads to clearer thinking; exercise relieves frustration and lower blood pressure and enough sleep recharges the batteries and improves concentration. It is important to remember that students are not alone during the examinations and recommend regular conversations with friends, family and staff to get advice where required.
I would like to wish all Upper School students the very best for the examinations season ahead and I look forward to receiving news of their achievements.
Finally, here are my top five tips to examination preparation:
1. Give yourself enough time to study and don’t leave it until the last minute
2. Revise actively aiming to understand what you are learning rather than simply memorising it
3. Feed the brain and ensure you have a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water
4. Practise examination questions using your teacher for support in knowing how to improve
5. Organise study groups with friends to vary your revision
Director of Studies
quick tips for successful exam preparation
- Make sure your study space is organised
- Use visual aids such as flow charts and diagrams
- Practice makes perfect. Know what to expect and how much time you will need
- Explain your answers to others to build on your understanding
- Take regular breaks
- Remove anything distracting from your study area
- Develop a study routine that fits and keep to it