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Pupils feeling the exam stress


Pupils are under a lot of pressure to succeed, and with all eyes on them, the pressure is growing each year.

WITH city matric pupils having started their final examinations this week and pupils in other grades due to start exams soon, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has already received calls from pupils who feel the pressure during exam season.

“We receive calls from pupils across the board – pupils as young as primary school, high school as well as university students who feel the pressure during the exam season,” SADAG’s Call Centre Manager, Vanishaa Gordhan, said yesterday.

“Pupils call in feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, with some having had panic attacks before a big exam,” Gordhan stated. “We receive calls in the early hours of the morning with pupils who are trying to cram before their big paper – they are overwhelmed and feel like they are going to forget everything they have learnt and fail.”

She added that pupils are under a lot of pressure to succeed, and with all eyes on them, the pressure is growing each year.

“Parents also stress for the exam season too – they don’t always know how to best support their child so they can cope – and sometimes their pressure can add extra strain to the pupil. But there are so many helpful tips and tools to help pupils at any level, as well as parents, to cope with the exam season.”

SADAG is hosting a free online #FacebookFriday Q&A today from 1pm to 2pm with educational psychologist Dr Joseph Seabi, and at 7pm to 8pm with educational psychologist Khuze Ntakana.

“Pupils and their parents can join these online question and answer sessions to ask any questions they may have about exams, stress, anxiety, study methods, how to help a teen cope, what parents can do and self-help tips. To join the log in, go directly to our Facebook page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

“Follow SADAG’s Facebook and Twitter pages as we share #SADAGExams101 where you can find daily tips on what to do on the day of the exam, coping with stress, anxiety, self-help tips and so much more. There are many advantages in looking for exam tips and self-help tools online. Repeat past papers online, watch exam preparation videos and read helpful mind maps to understand certain study concepts. There are so many helpful resources at your fingertips.”

While many pupils and parents feel isolated and alone during this time of year, there is a place they can turn to for help. SADAG offers free telephone counselling available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week on 0800 21 22 23 or SMS 31393.

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