If you are nearing the end of Year 12, you probably don’t want to hear this, but October is upon us and the final high school exams you are ever going to sit aren’t even just round the corner any more, they are knocking on your front door! Whilst you’re probably looking forward to leaving High School and taking your next step in life, you are almost certainly also feeling the stress of this important, and let’s face it, nerve wracking time. We don’t want to pile on the pressure but these exams aren’t only the culmination of two years of your hard work, they are one of the measures by which future employers or educational establishments are going to judge you. Fear not though, to help stop you from going into ‘Year-12-Meltdown’ we’ve put together a handy ‘How to Ace High School and What to do After’ ‘eBook that will help you to deal with exam stress, keep calm during your exams and make some important decisions about your future.
Pre Exam Stress
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about exam stress is that everybody has it. No matter how calm and cool the person at the next exam desk looks, at some point in the last couple of months, he or she will have had some ‘throw it all out of the window’ moments, just like you. Here are some important things to remember about stress:
- Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, when you are stressed your body is primed for optimum performance
- Whereas short term stress can be helpful, long term stress is not so good and can start to impact on your physical wellbeing and the way your brain functions
- Taking a break during study is a good idea, using that break to get some exercise and fresh air is an even better one
- Little rewards to break up the study day can be really helpful, just make sure that these aren’t all unhealthy snacks!
- Planning can be a great weapon against stress. If you are worried about getting everything done, break it all down and make some lists
Exams weren’t ever designed to be fun. No matter how hard you’ve studied and revised there will be some questions or tasks that you find difficult; the examiners (you are allowed to dislike them) wouldn’t be doing their jobs properly if there weren’t. We have five top exam-time tips for you (if you want to find out more then take a look at our ‘How to Ace High School and What to do After’ eBook):
- Organise everything you will need the night before an exam (if you ignore all of the other tips make sure you do this one)
- Eat breakfast (even if you are feeling a bit queasy with nerves)
- Have a ‘happy place’ in your head that you can use to calm any panic over tricky questions
- Don’t look at anybody else in the room (they could be writing nonsense for all you know)
- Get a little bit of exercise each day of your exams
The Next Step
Although you definitely deserve a break before you take your next step in life, leaving High School is the start of something as well as the end. If you don’t find work or move on to additional education, you are statistically more at risk of ending up in long-term unemployment (and although that may sound great for a week or two, it really wouldn’t be fun for any longer). The good news is that 81% of all Australians who attain their Year 12 Certificate (including, of course, you) end up employed. All you need to do is make sure that the next steps you take are the right ones for you. You are lucky to live in a time when there are so many post Year 12 options for education; our ‘How to Ace High School and What to do After’ eBook will help you understand the choices:
- Australia has 43 universities for you to choose from
- In May 2016 over 3 million of all work-age Australians were in apprenticeships
- Vocational training in Australia is on the up and a great way into employment
- Studying online is a great way to combine work experience and study (you can even study online up to Bachelor level)
- A gap year is an option but this is most effective if you have pre-planned your study options for your return
The picture of jobs in Australia is changing in exciting ways, older industries are shrinking and new ones are growing. Whatever your skillset and your ambitions, there will be a career out there to suit you and you will attain your career goals if you think carefully about your next steps and the paths you want to take towards your goals. You are young and your world is out there for you to find. Do your study, take your exams, make those decisions and get out there and live!