Stress is the body’s natural response to a threatening situation, and stress causes the release of hormones such as adrenaline, that prepare the body for its instinctual response to a threat: flight, fight or freeze. The adrenaline causes processes in your body to change, for example, your breathing and heart rate quicken, your senses sharpen, muscles tighten and your blood pressure is raised. These changes allow your reaction time to increase, which could mean the difference between life and death. However, many people, including students, live in stressful situations every day, and this has a negative effect of their health.
Factors causing exam-related stress:
One of the main causes of exam-related stress is the pressure on students to excel in the exams academically. Pressure can be placed on the student by family or friends, as well as by the student themselves. Pressure placed on the student by family members is often the result of parents wanting their children to achieve better results than they did, causing unnecessary stress on the student. Fear of disappointing family members also causes high levels of stress for the student.
Certain expectations are held of students by their parents, such as being accepted into a certain high-school or tertiary institution. These expectations can be unrealistic and not be based on the student’s strengths and weaknesses. These expectations can also create pressure on the student to meet his parents’ expectations, which creates feelings of inadequacy when they can’t be met.
Pressure is also placed on a student by himself. The student believes that in order to be a good student, they have to do well at school all the time. If the student wants to achieve a certa...
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