A few weeks till assessment – will I fail?

I’m feeling really stressed and exhausted with only a few weeks to go until the end of semester and the assessment period. I don’t think I’m coping well and I’m worried that I’m going to fail. I’m procrastinating heaps! When I do sit down to study I don’t know where to start and I can’t concentrate. It feels out of control and I’ve become irritable with others. Help!

Thanks for your question. The end of semester can be a stressful time for many students. When we are under stress it is vital that we take good care of our physical and emotional selves. It’s important not to overlook having regular meals and a regular sleep routine – try going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time in the morning; incorporate some regular exercise into your daily routine – this can help with better sleep.

It would probably be a worthwhile investment of your time to work out your study priorities and to design a timetable for yourself to help get you through the next few weeks – think about chunking study tasks with breaks for exercise, meals, relaxation, social events. Be reasonable with your expectations of yourself and make sure there is plenty of room for flexibility in your timetable. This can help with a sense of control and bring some clarity and focus when you know what tasks you need to attend to. It might also help reduce your irritability with others. Turn off social media and minimise distractions so you are not disrupted, use them as incentives – look at them when you have worked for a while or completed a task. Mindfulness exercises can be helpful in the practice of shifting attention from worries and difficult feelings, and help you engage in the present moment.

These suggestions aren’t going to take away all the stress associated with the end of semester but they can help you to feel a greater sense of control, and reduce worry. Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is also available to assist. The service is free of charge, confidential and counsellors are experienced in helping students manage similar situations to what you describe.


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