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Pretty much everything can stress you out when you're doing the Leaving Cert

New research from the ERSI has found that students are under a lot of pressure during their examinations.
May 28th 2015, 6:04 AM 9,239 20

COMING INTO THE Leaving Cert season students are focused on getting the best grades possible.

In trying to do this, those taking the exams can start to feel the strain.

A new research bulletin published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found that stress can be a big problem for students undergoing the exams.

The research looked at 900 students across 12 secondary schools.

It comes alongside figures released by the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP), which has found that one third of Leaving Cert students, around 17,000 in total, will suffer from stress during this time.

Who did the research look at?

The research found that a number of different factors can impact on how stress impacts in the run up to their exams.

One of the most decisive elements was gender with girls more likely to struggle than boys.

Out of the females asked, 40% said they lost sleep over the prospect of exams, while half said that they felt “constantly under strain or pressure”.

What influenced the stress levels of students? 

A number of things were listed as factors in how stressed out students got, including prior academic performance, the quality of peer interaction and having to make choices for third level institutions at the same time as studying for their examinations.

Students who had a higher performance academically bore a greater burden of stress than those who expected to do worse.

Subject choice is also important. Those taking courses that they were not satisfied with and courses that were marked on the basis of a single exam were found to have higher stress levels than those who were happier with what they were studying and whose courses had a coursework element.

Interaction with teachers also had a major impact on students, with an amenable environment where students were praised and given positive feedback regularly being found to reduce stress levels.

Read: The Leaving Cert is not as predictable as people think…

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Michael Sheils McNamee

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