The IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme exams are significant milestones for students in grades 10 and 12 at OWIS, and it’s that time of the year when their preparation of two years will bear fruit. Along with their studies, it is important that students practise self-care during the exams, as this will help them to be both physically and mentally prepared to succeed.
A little anxiety about examinations is normal and perhaps, everyone has faced this in their schooling years. Besides the stress of the assessment itself, this tumultuous pandemic period has been highly unusual and must be taken into account while supporting children.
Covid-19’s Impact on Student Assessments in Singapore
In the spring of 2020, the IGCSE and IB DP exams were cancelled in Singapore due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and students were promoted based on their predicted results. Now, one year later, the pandemic still rages on throughout the world.
While the situation in Singapore has improved significantly and the examinations are taking place as scheduled, students may be confused due to differing conditions in other locations, particularly if they plan to attend a university or high school in another country. They have also endured a year of social distancing, changing requirements and pandemic stress, which may have had an impact on their emotional health.
In light of the ongoing crisis, students may need additional emotional support, and parents and teachers should keep checking in on their well-being.
Self-Care Tips for OWIS Students Who are Preparing for Exams
During the exams, students are often immersed in their studies and focused on last-minute preparations. This can be overwhelming and stressful at times, which is why it’s essential for students to prioritise self-care. Here are nine self-care strategies for students who are preparing for the IGCSE and IB DP exams:
- Think positive thoughts. If you are feeling anxious, write down your fears. This can help you visualise and compartmentalise your concerns and ultimately overcome them.
- Create a balanced schedule. Identify blocks of time for specific subject areas, but also include self-care breaks in your plan.
- Take care of your physical health. Make time to exercise while you are preparing for exams. Avoid comfort foods containing too much sugar or fat, as those will cause you to become sluggish while preparing for exams. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables or healthy protein-based snacks, such as nuts. And remember to get enough sleep so you are well-rested for the exams.
- Spend time outdoors. You may find that it’s less stressful or a good change of scene to study in a peaceful outdoor setting rather than in your room.
- Communicate. Talk with adults whom you respect and trust about any exam stress or anxiety you may be facing. Whether they are family members or teachers, these adults can advise you how to manage your stress.
- Unplug from social media. Social media and its influence can have a detrimental impact on your mental health, and now is the best time to clear that space in your head to make room for all of that knowledge.
- Relax with a hobby. You may find that drawing, painting or even colouring in a colouring book can help you rest your mind and take a brain break in between study sessions.
- Forget about past results. Avoid dwelling on previous exam experiences and results that you have received. What’s in the past is behind you now, and all you should focus on is the exam in front of you.
- Set rewards for yourself. Give yourself small rewards for studying in routine intervals, such as break time with friends. Create a larger reward for yourself that you can enjoy once you get the results of your exam.
While some anxiety regarding testing is normal, students at OWIS have an advantage because they receive support in the form of pastoral care. During the school year, our secondary students typically meet with their tutor every morning. During those meetings, they can review academic information and talk about anything that might be in their hearts or minds. This robust pastoral care programme allows students to bond with staff members at school and feel supported by their community.
It’s crucial for students to remember that once they complete their exams, they can take some time off to rest, knowing that they have learned valuable skills that will help them in the future.
At OWIS, we are so proud of our grade 10 and grade 12 students who will be taking their IGCSE and IB DP exams. We are here for you for any support you need and we wish you all the best!
For more information on our IGCSE and IB DP programmes and how we support our students’ well-being, please get in touch with the admissions team or schedule a virtual tour.
This blog was originally written in collaboration with Jasween Gill, former Admissions and Communications Director, OWIS Nanyang and Suntec.