Physical and mental health the key to exam success

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As thousands of high school students prepare for the commencement of WACE examinations on 3 November 2014, The University of Notre Dame Australia encourages young people to achieve their potential but work within their physical capabilities.

According to Andrew Duirs, Counselling Coordinator, Student Counselling Service, at the University’s Fremantle Campus, remaining physically and mentally healthy during the exam period is key to surviving exam stress.

“When students are healthy and relaxed they cope better with the extra demands experienced during the exam period,” Mr Duirs said.

“Strategies include getting enough sleep, daily exercise, healthy diet and regular relaxation. Other key areas include utilising techniques for addressing procrastination and stress management along with a sound study plan.”

Roselynn Lang, Coordinator of Academic Support Programs at the University’s Academic Enabling and Support Centre, Fremantle, agrees that balancing study periods with periods of rest, exercise and good nutrition is important to manage the stress of exams. She also recommends developing a plan for sitting your exams.

“During the exam, manage your time carefully, allocating it according to the marks for each question and plan your responses in advance,” Ms Lang said.

“Once you have your plan, try to keep to your schedule. Answer your favourite questions first but make sure that you attempt all questions. Most importantly, be sure to answer all aspects of the question including key ideas and terms. Leave some space in your answer booklet so that you can add further detail when you come back to re-read and evaluate your response.”

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While Notre Dame wishes all students preparing for WACE exams the very best of luck, the University provides flexible learning pathways for students who do not achieve the results they had been hoping for.

Notre Dame’s unique admissions process considers the whole person and not just a student’s exam results. Admissions take into account the personal qualities, motivation to study, experience, knowledge and skills of a prospective student. A range of alternative entry pathways that help ease the transition into university study are also available to prospective students on the Fremantle, Sydney and Broome campuses.

A final word of advice from Ms Lang is that you are more than your ATAR score and there are many alternative pathways to reach your goal.

“For students who didn’t achieve their ideal ATAR, the Academic Enabling and Support Centre’s Foundation Year Summer Intensive program could be the answer to put them back on track to start their undergraduate studies in Semester 1 2015.

“Other students may benefit from the Foundation Year program, with a semester-long program before commencing their undergraduate study in Semester 2 2015. Low-cost Primer courses are also available two weeks before the start of the academic year to assist all students make a successful start to their university study.”

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(Source: The University of Notre Dame)

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Date Created: November 11, 2014