The expectation to get into a prestigious college, receive an amazing GPA, while actively participating in extracurricular activities is constantly stressing students out. This is described as Academic Pressure–an experience in which students are overwhelmed by the efforts spent to meet high demands in achieving certain results such as GPA, awards, and scholarships.
Students regardless of their nationality often receive pressure to become successful and have meaningful contributions to society. What are the causes underlying this issue?
Because of its impacts in ensuring better career prospects, some students are expected to excel in doing exams because grades are considered to be the absolute measurement of their skills.
Therefore, examinations are one of the main sources of academic pressure. Research has shown that on average across OECD countries, “66% of students reported feeling stressed about poor grades and 59% reported that they often worry that taking a test will be difficult.”
Although standardized examinations are the mainstream method to evaluate students’ performance, there have been long-standing debates on whether this kind of assessment is still suitable until this day. Academic tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) are sometimes taken as the standard tests for college admission.
Instead of being something students are scared of taking, exams should be a tool for students to reflect on their abilities. This can foster children’s determination in achieving an attainable goal, thus not discouraging them from pursuing higher education.
2. Family & Parental Pressure
It is common for parents to keep an eye on students’ performance at schools and encourage them to proactively enroll in the class. However, if they put too much burden and have an extreme intention that forces students to gain outstanding academic results on top of everything, this will be counter-effective.
Parents usually rank the success of their offspring by “how others are performing” instead of a true evaluation of their child’s strengths and weaknesses. This might lead to parents setting too high expectations for students’ results without caring about students’ actual improvement.
3. Poor Stress & Time Management
Students’ own anxiety and insufficient time management are underlying reasons why they find school is exhausting. Students who procrastinate and do not plan their schedules well are more likely to feel stressed out because of the rush deadlines and exams.
Furthermore, pressure can appear because some students set unrealistic goals for their academic achievement. Therefore, when they did not reach their goal, they might consider themselves to be incompetent and think in an even more negative and self-sabotage way than before they prepare for a test.
How To Manage Academic Pressure
At Project Sprouts, we advocate for changes in shaping a positive learning environment for students. In our next article, we will share some of our tips on how to manage pressure and help alleviate the severity of your stress.
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