Updated: Sep 10, 2021
How to deal with the exam stress
1 Focus on Your Goals
Towards the end of the year, I really started to look at the bigger picture. Is like all about trying to get a perfect ATAR or about trying your best and pursuing your passions and doing something that you are happy with? At this point of the year, I really tried to focus on what course I wanted to get into at uni, and also worked out what my other options were in case I wasn't successful. In doing so I was able to remove a lot of the pressure I felt. I only focused on achieving my personal goals and what would make me happy as opposed to trying to please other people and this was a real turning point for my VCE journey.
2 Ask for help!
At this point in the year, I also realised that reaching out to friends and teachers to ask for help and support was really really important. Whenever I was struggling with concepts in HHD, I would schedule a session with my teacher to go over my questions and to get feedback on practice exams that I had done. I doing so I received validation from my teacher that I was on the right track, which helped decrease stress levels and massively increased my confidence. I also had a group chat with my friends where any of us could reach out for help and talk whenever we were struggling. This way I always found that when I needed help there was someone to turn to and when my friends needed help, I always found that helping them through HHD content (or content for other subjects) was an awesome way to revise in a different way.
3. Don't forget to play to your strengths
The last big stressor that I found in the final weeks of my VCE was preparing for a all my subjects. One of the things that everyone talks about during the final weeks of preparation is fixing your mistakes and addressing your weaknesses. Although this is really important, the two problems that I found with this approach were: (i) It means spending a lot of time on the subjects that you like least, and the areas that cause the greatest stress. (b) means you can forget about your strengths. This can be dangerous, as solving your weaknesses may mean that you prevent yourself from losing a few marks, whereas not spending time on your strengths means that you may lose the opportunity to gain even more marks. As such, I always made sure that I spent a decent amount of time on the subjects where I felt I was strong. This not only meant my pace of improvement was faster, but also by virtue of spending time on the stuff that I was good at, I had a constant boost to my confidence.