As thousands of teenagers gear up for end of year exams, the pressure they face is often unbearable, and many struggle to cope. For parents this can be a trying time in their relationship with their child. What are the warning signs to look for? How can they learn to cope with this stress and anxiety? In: Exam Stress? No Worries! Author Su Dorland provides background information on exam stress - why it happens, signs to look for, and quick-fix techniques for immediate stress relief and long-term solutions for dealing with anxiety. Also included is an audio CD with centering exercises to calm nerves, a visualization technique to guide students through stressful situations; and a relaxation track to aid with sleep issues.
Whether you're a student looking for ways to beat exam stress, or a concerned parent looking to support their child through this stressful time, Exam Stress? No Worries! is the perfect companion to help erase anxiety and achieve better results. Su Dorland is now available for interview, and can provide tips to help students overcome the stress and achieve stellar results.
Su Dorland is an accredited Clinical Transactional Analyst with a Masters in Psychology who lives on the northern coast of NSW. Formally from Birmingham in the UK, Su has lived in Australia for almost half her life working as a lecturer, tutor and counsellor and is now semi-retired counselling Psychologist in private practice while pursuing her writing aspirations. Su is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association (Member since 1977), member of the College of Counselling Psychologists; Australian Psychological Society and also the Australian Psychological Society.
Exam Stress? No Worries!
Author: Su Dorland
What are some of the tips explored in the book to overcome exam stress?
Su Dorland: Okay, well first of all I'd like to explain a little bit about my background. I was a counsellor mainly in the university setting, I have included year 12 in the book, so the book is for students aged 17 and up.
It really is applicable to all; the book comes with a CD as well. It contains a book and CD, this is important because the CD plays an important role in reading the book as when you read it asks you to listen to the tracks. Right at the front of the book there are two pages called 'First Stage' - this section is for students who are picking up the book when their exams are about a week away and they are not likely to want to sit down and read the whole book when their exams are so close, that would probably make them more anxious! This stage guides them to particular pages in the book, where they can get hints and help for their anxiety; it also points them to the CD.
Some of the tips are:
First thing, is it doesn't matter what age the student is they have to be able to recognise their own early warning signs of stress, so that they can realise they are stressed, most people don't even realise, I think! In the book I've given some examples of physical signs that are evident when you are stressed, such as nausea, headaches, butterflies, skin problems- those sorts of things. Also there are behavioural signs, these can be irritable or procrastination, excessively cheerful or appetitive changes to less or more. The thinking changes also, it becomes crazy, they can tell themselves they are not going to pass or that they are going to let other people down or that they won't reach their career goals. The book really goes over the physical and behavioural signs and gets the student to recongise that they are stressed, and then the book teaches them to manage that stress.
I encourage the students to have a balance in their lives, so for example they have a balanced study time, study with other people some times and other students. They also need to have some type of calming activities in their lives; this could be learning to physically relax, or having baths or if they are into Yoga and meditation, these are both good for memory and concentration also. I encourage students to keep up their exercise; not to let them go just because exams are right there. I also encourage socialising with friends, but friends that aren't anxious.
Adequate sleep is important, one of the tracks on the CD, is to be listened to before bed, it is to put students to sleep, like a hypnosis to put you to sleep. The last thing about balancing life is encouraging, if they have to do paid work, to minimise it as far as they can, just before the exam, it depends on the circumstances, but it is a good idea to try and give up some of the paid work.
It is important to create reachable study goals, if you stick to a plan it reduces your anxiety. It is important to make goals, reachable goals, in regards to studying, other wise you will become anxious and unmotivated.
How does your book help parents and students?
Su Dorland: The book is directed at students from the age of 17 up. It may help parents with handy hints; although because often the stress is coming from another source, the parent may believe it is their fault their child is stressed, which may or may not be the truth. The book is for students but the book may help parents with hints to help their children.
There are written exercises in the book that will help the student work out where their anxiety is coming from, whether it be a parent, siblings or a coach, once this has been established the student can work at finding a permanent cure for this as they know why they get stressed. When I sent the draft of the book to readers they were able to acknowledge their stress and then create a permanent cure.
What made you decide to write this book?
Su Dorland: I had loads of experience as I had worked as a councellor in education, over thirty years of experience, I had also taken workshops and worked directly with individuals. I know many people had benefited from these tips so I decided to put it together in a book.