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September 5  2009

Some schools are offering pupils chocolate and access to relaxation rooms to reduce exam stress.

However, according to researchers at Edge Hill and Manchester Universities, exam relaxation techniques in general are still “hit and miss”.

They argue that parents and teachers are putting the wrong kind of pressure on teenagers to succeed and it is having a detrimental effect.

The study, presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference in Manchester, analysed the link between teacher and parent behaviour and the anxiety levels of 175 sixth form students. They also examined the stress levels of 224 GCSE pupils and compared it with their exam results.

It found that higher anxiety usually leads to lower scores, but some schools are rectifying this by attempting to ease exam nerves.

Lead researcher Dr Dave Putwain said: “I know of one school that gives anxious children chocolate and a pat on the head immediately before an exam.”

Source(Includes Video):  http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090905/tuk-chocolate-offered-to-relieve-exam-st-dba1618.html

 

Chocolate May Be Key To Good Exam Results

September 5 02:23 am

Students who relax and have some chocolate before an exam may do better than their counterparts who are all stressed out, according to researchers.

And parents and teachers would do well to give their children encouragement and affection before exams, if they want to see good results, researchers at Edge Hill and Manchester Universities say.

Instead, parents and teachers are putting the wrong kind of pressure on teenagers to succeed and it is having a detrimental effect, they said in a study.

Researchers looked at the link between teacher and parent behaviour and the anxiety levels of 175 sixth form students for the study.

They also examined the stress levels of 224 GCSE pupils and compared it with their exam results, finding that higher anxiety usually leads to lower scores.

Some schools are now trying to rectify this by attempting to calm exam nerves.

“I know of one school that gives anxious children chocolate and a pat on the head immediately before an exam,” said lead researcher Dr Dave Putwain.

“Pupils at another school I have visited can spend some time in a relaxation room that has soft lighting, comfortable furniture and soothing sounds.”

The researchers argue that teachers need to alter the messages they give teenagers.

“What we’ve found certainly is that a level of physiological stress is promoted by certain sorts of teaching practices that focus on fear of failure and parental pressure,” he said.

Teachers often focus on telling pupils that if they fail to get five good GCSEs, they will not get a job, or be able to go to college when they should be focusing on the benefits of learning, Dr Putwain added.

“I don’t think there is much understanding that many teachers could reduce their pupils’ anxiety levels by adjusting their own practice.

“They might also improve their pupils’ performance in the process – exam stress may not always have a big impact on exam scores but it can make the difference between one grade and the next.”

Source:   http://uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20090905/tuk-chocolate-may-be-key-to-good-exam-re-45dbed5.html



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