One of the best methods for evaluating students’ academic progress is through exams. However, students also experience anxiety related to exams. Students are always in a rat race because of the fast-paced curricula, which extend beyond exams.
In a recent poll of 190 kids, two-thirds of the pupils said they continuously felt under pressure to do well in school. Additionally, society has a prejudice against kids who don’t do well on their exams. The effects of performance pressure, however, have far-reaching effects.
Exams have consistently been a stressful experience for everyone, whether they are adults or students. Due to societal prejudice against students who perform poorly on exams, everyone wants to perform well and no one wants to fail.
Adolescents and teenagers are the age group most susceptible to academic stress since they go through a lot of personal and societal changes. Students are always in a rat race to perform well on tests and meet stringent deadlines and fast-paced curricula. The effects of performance pressure have long-term repercussions.
Anxiety & Stress
Expectations from parents, teachers, or the institution weigh heavily on students all the time. Students’ physical, social, and emotional well-being are degraded as a result of these performance-related pressures.
The body uses anxiety as a coping technique to deal with situations that are uncomfortable. Students’ mental health has been significantly impacted by the pressure to perform well academically, which has led to a variety of anxiety disorders including separation anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, and fear of physical harm.
As we briefly indicated above, students’ mental health can be negatively impacted by ongoing academic and performance pressure. In rare instances, they may have problems including stress, anxiety, and depression. The following are some typical causes of these conditions:
- Strict deadlines for difficult assignments
- The ability of students to learn is not understood by teachers.
- Difficult curriculum and limited time to cover
Researchers discovered some key signs of students who experience anxiety and stress connected to performance pressure in addition to these frequent causes. A group of schoolchildren in Mumbai between the ages of 8 and 15 have participated in studies based on the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS). The key signs of anxiety in pupils were determined by this study to be the following.
These signs are as follows:
- They fear that classmates and friends may exclude them from activities in class or at school.
- Students who experience social anxiety experience worry and anxiety before events, parties, and social gatherings.
- They worry about receiving penalties, suffering harm, or being hurt by instructors or other pupils.
- Before a big test or exam, students who suffer from agoraphobia experience extreme panic and anxiety attacks.
While the initial effects of academic pressure are anxiety and stress, social isolation comes next. Labels are used in classes to identify students who struggle with comprehension. In group activities, they become anxious and panic as peers encircle them.
Even teachers in the classroom have a condescending attitude towards students who don’t get good grades. Since each student is unique and has different talents and weaknesses, this viewpoint must be changed immediately.
Teachers frequently treat students with contempt, look down on them, and give them particular labels in class if they are unable to perform and earn decent grades.
The fear of being singled out by classmates during group activities at school is followed by increased social isolation and anxiety, which makes them lose interest in their favorite pastimes and look for excuses to skip class or school, among other things.
This viewpoint needs to change right away because every student has different skills and limits to take into account.
Competition is one of the most unhealthy emotions a student can experience, but performance pressure makes students feel that way. Students won’t be able to bear academic failures and poor grades once this starts happening.
They believe that achieving high test scores is the only way to gain acceptance and decent treatment in this culture. This sensation encourages people to engage in unhealthy competition, which is bad for their physical and mental health. Performance pressure’s negative side effect of encouraging unhealthy competition is another.
They unconsciously think that receiving good treatment requires receiving high grades. Competition is beneficial, but only when approached in the proper manner. To foster in their kids a healthy sense of competition, parents must spend time with them.
Last-minute exam preparation
Many students believe that studying the night before the test and cramming for it will boost their grades. Students experience the most stress when they are cramming at the last minute with mounting worries. However, it is up to the students to plan ahead and manage their time well.
Students experience the most stress when they study for an exam with many questions and concerns. Students now have easy access to immediate doubt clarification with internet schooling. It is the responsibility of the students to plan ahead and use their time properly.
They believe that studying for an exam 24 hours beforehand will boost their grades. They were cramming, indeed. But they don’t realize that scrambling at the last minute never succeeds. Just a week before exams, students need to finish working on their ideas and questions from the entire semester.
When they realize they know little about a certain concept or subject after all this cramming, they become even more agitated and under pressure.
How Can Performance Pressure Effects Be Combated?
Although the impacts of performance pressure are real, one does not have to endure them permanently. The following advice will assist you in overcoming the negative consequences of performance pressure and shining as brightly as you once did:
- Put down the cups of tea and coffee for yourself. Do minimize your caffeine intake, though. Your anxiety, worry, and heart rate will only increase as a result of consuming too much caffeine.
- Always keep in mind that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Consume balanced, low-fat meals, and try to stay away from junk food as much as you can. Fix your sleep schedule as well, and live a generally healthy life.
- You will experience the impacts more strongly the lower your self-esteem is. So, trust and believe in yourself wholeheartedly. Avoid any thoughts that can cause you to doubt your abilities as well.
- Instead of dwelling on the worst and worst, try to stay upbeat and hopeful. Try to begin practicing yoga, breathing techniques, and meditation as soon as you can.
- These practices are regarded as the greatest ways to handle stress and anxiety.
- Consider adding exercise and physical activity to your regular schedule. Exercise is believed to lower stress levels by triggering the release of endorphins in the body.
Performance pressure is terrible and can have a lot of negative health repercussions on the pupils. Yes, it can impact their learning process as well. To protect students from this feeling, instructors and parents should collaborate. The safest and best atmosphere for pupils is one that is devoid of stress.