Final Exam Stress?

Aidan Boler, Writer

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Final exams are stressful, right? I’m assuming that you get stressed over exams, as most people do. I know how you feel because I’m one of those people who get stressed before the exam even starts.

Of almost 50 Bob Jones students surveyed, all of them, yes, every single survey taker, said that they were stressed about final exams.

This is not unusual, and studies have been done to see exactly what happens to students and their health during exams. Research shows that cortisol, a hormone caused by stress, impacts their performance during the exam. Students whose cortisol spiked most, or crashed the lowest, did worse than expected on exams. This means that test scores do not completely reflect students’ intelligence or understanding of the course; it also reflects their ability to perform under pressure. Should your bodily functions sway your course’s semester average? At Bob Jones, the final exam is worth 1/5 of your overall average.

In a study from Oxford Learning, I found this: “Students who struggle with test anxiety typically fall a half a letter grade below their peers.”

I doubt our school policy will change regarding exams, so what can we students do to ease our stress?

  1. Prepare. Start studying early and take advantage of study groups.
  2. Exempt exams by scoring higher on the ACT.
  3. Take courses that use portfolios or performances for the final exam, unless the thought of that also stresses you out.
  4. Exercise. Burn off some of that anxious energy.
  5. Relax. This is easier said than done.

Good luck with finals, Bob Jones!