How To Cope With The Stress Of Exam Hand Backs


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The period between completing an assignment or an exam and receiving your marks back can be extremely stressful and anxiety-inducing for a student. To cope with this stress period, a SHAWCO representative offers 5 tips.



In this day and age, learners have a lot on their shoulders, and academic stress is one of the main contributions of stress among our youth. Awaiting marks for assignments and exams as a learner can be terrifying.

However, UCT’s Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) understands how strenuous this period can be on the psyche, and they have the following 5 tips to offer to help reduce stress:

  1. Focus on what is within your control - It is essential that instead of dwelling on what you have no control over, you should attempt to maximise what you can control and take charge of it.
  2. Practice mindfulness- Mindfulness refers to the practice of remaining in the present, and separating yourself from what can distract you from remaining in the here and now. Some activities to achieve mindfulness may include; meditation, listening to music, and belly breathing exercises.
  3. Journaling- This offers you the opportunity to jot down your thoughts and feelings and share what you are most concerned about with regards to receiving your marks. Alternatively, it is also an opportunity to recall past achievements and things that you are proud of.
  4. “Worry time”- It is good to set aside some time to think about, process and unpack what you are worried about as you attempt to come up with a solution to it in a healthy, controlled manner.
  5. Talk to someone - If possible, try to speak to someone that you trust about what you are experiencing or going through. They can be a friend, partner, trusted adult, anyone that you feel comfortable sharing with.

In the case that none of these tips work for you, which is not uncommon and is nothing to be insecure about, it may be a sign that you might have to pursue extra, possibly professional help.

It is also important to take note of your physical state and identify what may have changed; has your appetite changed? How does your body feel? And so on. If you see anything that may be of concern, it might be a good time to pursue counselling. 



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