YORK REGION DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
With the secondary school exam period beginning, here are 10 tips to help students prepare for exams and manage stress:
- Eat healthy, drink water and get plenty of sleep.
- Take mind and body breaks. Schedule blocks of time for rest and activities that bring you joy. This could be exercise, time outside, extracurricular activities, connecting with others or enjoying hobbies.
- Maintain social connections and know who you can reach out to for support, including friends, family and school staff.
- Create a realistic study plan. Schedule dedicated blocks of time without distractions.
- There are lots of different ways to study. Use study techniques and exam preparation strategies that work for you.
- Create a space for studying that works best for you.
- Mental health and well-being is important. For students who feel anxious, there are lots of strategies to help you stay calm before, during and after exams. This could include mindfulness strategies, visualization, breathing exercises, positive thinking and more.
- On the day of the exam, arrive early, review all the questions before you begin and read each question carefully.
- Try different strategies and techniques to learn what works for you, and ask for help or support if you need it.
- Practise positive and affirming self-talk before, during and after the exam — for example, “I am doing my best, I have got this, I am proud of myself/my studying, etc.”
“We are encouraging students to learn and explore what works for you,” said Hoshana Calliste, assistant mental health co-ordinator, York Region District School Board. “We come into the space with different learning styles, different strengths and different assets, and leveraging and tapping into those things is what’s going to help us to succeed and thrive.”
“It’s really about knowing what works for you,” said Paula Vicente, assistant mental health co-ordinator, York Region District School Board. “Practice is key for any strategy, practising strategies outside of an exam, outside of a stressful situation, so that when you really need a skill that might work for you, you can access it readily.”
Members of the school board’s mental health team met with some students to talk about managing stress and mental health during exams on the Tune in YRDSB podcast. For more tips and strategies on preparation, managing stress and supporting wellness during exams, listen to the podcast episode or follow YRDSB on Instagram @yrdsb.schools.