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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Examination format at UFS to change
2011-04-22

A new examination format is to be followed from the coming examination in May 2011 at the University of the Free State (UFS). According to this, the additional examination opportunity is to follow on the heels of the main examination.

According to the new format, students who qualify to write examinations will be compelled to write their papers during the first opportunity, and will only be allowed to write an additional examination once their applications for this examination have been approved. Students who qualify for re-assessment and special examinations will automatically be admitted to the additional examination and will therefore be exempt from the application process.
 
According to Dr Saretha Brüssow, Head: Teaching and Learning at the UFS, the Examination Committee requested the investigation of the double examination which applied previously, due to the pressure it caused on the university systems.
 
She said that, besides this release of pressure on systems such as the registration process, the back-to-back semester-based examination system might also lead to a possible improvement of the academic success rate, due to the shorter time span between the first and the second examination opportunities.
 
Students attended classes poorly in the past due to the second examination opportunity, which took place during the following semester after classes had resumed. “In some cases it is specifically the student at risk, who cannot afford to miss classes, who makes use of the second examination opportunity.”
 
Dr. Brüssow said the registration process was also affected by the previous format due to students who wanted to receive their results first before they registered. Other delays which occurred as a result of the second examination opportunity, were the first annual graduation ceremony which took place late in the year, the awarding of bursaries, and the finalisation of residence accommodation. Adding on to this problematic nature is students who occupy residences in the following academic year without a formal application in order to write during the second examination opportunity in January.
 
The new format is applicable to all students, except those in the Faculty of Health. Main and South Campus students can direct enquiries to addexam@ufs.ac.za. Qwaqwa Campus students should email addexam@qwa.ufs.ac.za.  Information on the new examination format is also available on www.ufs.ac.za.
 
 
Media Release
21 April 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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