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This article was taken from “The Educator`s Room”- authored by Lori H Rice.http://theeducatorsroom.com/2013/04/after-the-assessments/
And from “How to deal with exam stress” from the website: http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Exam-Stress
Assessing your students at some point in time is needed, at least in my opinion, as you will have an idea as a teacher, how they are performing and whether they are understanding the subject or not. As this article states, it is not only stressful for the students, but it also put pressure on the teachers. Finding out that a lot of students failed makes you realise that there is something wrong and that you are not adapting the right teaching strategies. This will surely stress you out! Teachers have to build up the assessment paper based on what the students have learnt up till now, so it involves time management by making sure that you are not going slow or too fast. The other kind of stress is when you have different abilities in the same class and they are entitled to sit for the same exam. It will stress the teacher on the type of questions she shall assess, as it may seem very easy for some whilst difficult for the others.
There are several discussions on whether exams should be abolished or not. I personally do not think that they should be abolished. Firstly, because it is a way for the teachers to evaluate what the students have learnt, and provide for them a method feedback. Secondly, sometimes student work hard only when under pressure. Knowing that they will not be assessed some may take it easy, do not carry out their research on the topic and eventually at the end of the year it would be difficult for them to grasp the subject in just a couple of weeks. Those who are against assessments the main reasons being the stress level it causes and the emotional effect it may have on those who do not do well.
As teachers, we should work very hard throughout the year, make sure they are understanding, care for them, make them evaluate and solve problems, support them and be willing to respond their questions so that eventually they will do well. Personally, I also think that the educator should help the students to deal with the emotional stress that exams bring. One may ask how this is possible. What is most important is that the students are PREPARED. They can be prepared by being organized such as having everything you need before you sit for an exam. Looking for things the last minute will surely cause you more panic. Another thing is eating a good breakfast and healthy food. This help you to concentrate more and avoid the possibility of passing out on the exam paper- sitting for an exam on an empty stomach will surely lead to such issues. Relaxing your brain at least one hour before an exam is fundamental. Going tired will make you panic and most probably forget half the things you have studied, so one should take it easy. When you get the paper, it is important that you plan exactly how you are going to work things out, given time restrictions. Mark the best questions to choose and calculate estimates on how much will it takes to answer each and every one. Knowing you still have a lot to do but you only have a few minutes left, will surely stress the hell out of you. Finally, you must cross-check your answers because you may have left something out or else discover careless mistakes which can be easily modified.
Students may be stressed because they are either not prepared at all, fear of failure or are afraid of their parents’ reaction when attaining a low mark. Sometimes, despite working hard the whole year, being under stress will surely distract you and can easily get stuck when answering the questions. Teachers should always explain the purpose of a test and afterwards they should provide a caring environment in fact, this article states the importance of a reward after assessments. This helps to reduce their stress and they will be eager and happy to celebrate after such demanding time.
When the exam is finished then you should forget! Do not be anxious wasting your time waiting for the exam results as sometimes this may take several weeks, at least from my experience! Furthermore, do not compare your answers with those of your friends or go home check your notes to see whether you got it right, as discovering mistakes will eventually lead you to assume that you did bad. You should do something nice and avoid wasting time figuring out what somebody else did!
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