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How to keep stress at bay

DOING the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) is definitely stressful but remember there is plenty of support and help available.

The exams are also just one way of getting where you want to be.
Creating a study timetable in the lead up to the exams, will help make sure each subject is revised and don’t forget to set aside some time for exercise and relaxation.
It’s also good to get familiar with the exam formats by reviewing previous exams for each subject.
When it comes to exam day itself, it’s not unusual to feel a little anxious – just take a few deep slow breaths to settle yourself.
Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the exam so you don’t feel rushed, and make sure you have all the equipment allowed, including pens, pencils, an eraser, highlighter, ruler, calculator, watch and water – but make sure there are no labels on bottles.
When you get into the exam room, read through the entire paper, including the front page, during the allocated reading time. Check for any surprise questions which may need more time and decide on which alternative you prefer when a question has options.
Also plan how long you intend to spend on each section and use the number of marks a question is worth, as a clue to how much time you need to spend on it.
Don’t forget to keep five to 10 minutes at the end to check over the whole paper, including your personal details.
Once you are allowed to start writing, make some quick notes on a blank page of the exam paper so you can concentrate on your plan. Circle or highlight key words, as they can help direct your thoughts.
Remember you don’t have to start at question one, sometimes it can be helpful to start with an ‘easy’ question to settle your nerves and leave the hardest questions for the middle of the exam.
If you finish early, use any extra time to review your work carefully.
Most importantly, once you finish, let it go and remember you did the best you could.