7 steps to stop NCEA study stress

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Seven useful steps on getting organised to get through NCEA exam study stress.

Stressed about NCEA exams? Getting organised and not putting too much pressure on yourself will help. Here are our seven steps to get you through study stress.

1. Set up a study space

Find a quiet place in your home and set up all your study tools, such as computer, highlighters, subject notes and writing paper. If your home is too noisy, go to a friend’s house or a whānau member’s house – or try a public library.

2. Make a study wall chart

Make a wall chart with all your subjects and the days leading up to the exams. Block out the exam days. Colour code each subject so it’s easy to read.

3. Make a list of study tasks

Make a list of what you need to do for each subject, such as:

  • read information about the exam, including where and when it is
  • check out websites with tips on exam study
  • review classroom notes
  • learn formulae
  • make study cards
  • memorise dates
  • practise essay writing
  • practise mock exams
  • do a final review of your notes.

Break these tasks into 20 minute blocks with five minute breaks in between, and put them onto the wall chart. Match each block to their subject colour.

Can any tasks be done with a friend? You could test each other and share study tips.

4. Book in time to relax on your wall chart

Book time in for the things you do every day on your wall chart. Things like breakfast, music practice, exercise or hangout time. Free time is very important – it will help to reduce your stress.

5. Exercise, eat and sleep well every day

Now is not the time for 3am study and chocolate binges. If you eat healthy food, exercise every day and get at least eight hours sleep each night you will feel less stressed.

Exercise can help if you have an anxiety attack as well. If things are getting too much, run quickly on the spot, or go outside and shake your arms. This can calm you down and help you focus.

6. Put NCEA exams into perspective

If something goes wrong in the exam, or if you miss some NCEA credits, it’s not the end of the world. There are always other options. Your school might allow you to redo some of your NCEA credits next year, or you could complete them at summer school.

There is a wider life outside of NCEA, and any setbacks can be fixed.

Updated 23 Jan 2019