During exam season, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) wants to alleviate as much stress as possible for students.
 
The district advises that preparing properly for exams will help ease some of their anxieties.
 
"Anxiety really comes from fear. Fear of the unknown and fear that we can't control something," said Deb Barron, director of curriculum and instructional supports for EIPS.
 
Studying properly before an exam will help relieve a lot of the fear and stress.
 
Most schools have their students write the PATs and diplomas in the gym while seated in rows. This space can sometime be intimidating and unfamiliar, so Barron recommends inspecting the exam room before writing the test.
 
When going into the exam, ensuring that exam tools like computer are fully charged and going in with more than pencil will help prevent any technical issues while writing.
 
EIPS added students should take their time in exams. In 2017, the province made a change allowing students writing final exams to get double the amount of time to complete their test.
 
In 2015, Alberta also officially changed the weight of the diplomas from 50 per cent to 30 per cent.
 
"Exams are a very small part, an important part, but a smaller part of demonstrating what [students] know and understand about their courses," Barron added. "Sometimes we kind of get caught up in thinking that our whole life is hinging on this one exam and that's not the case."
 
The district reminds students with a history of test anxiety to talk to a teacher or school counselor before starting to prepare for the exam. Often times special accommodations can be made, like writing the test in a quiet room or getting assistance from a teacher to read through the questions.

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