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A moderate amount of stress can be a good thing. It can sharpen concentration and performance and help create the energy and motivation needed to keep studying. Too much however, can be overwhelming and prevent studying and functioning healthily.

There’s nothing worse than the disappointment of not achieving as well as you’d hoped. It’s important that instead of believing these negative thoughts, we challenge them (I won't get a good job, people will think I’m stupid, my future is over) with a more realistic assessment. To do this, you may need to enlist the help of a friend, counsellor or tutor.

Many think they’ll be judged solely on academic achievements rather than as individuals with contributions to make. If someone believes self-worth depends on academic achievement, there will be considerable anxiety surrounding any academic assessment. Too much anxiety can be paralysing, and if you add pressure from family or others it may become overwhelming.

“Exams are never fun and seldom easy”, says Operations Director, Cassey Chambers. “Matric is one of the most stressful times in a person's life. Remind yourself that this is the nature of the exam-beast and don't be too hard on yourself. “

Anyone feeling overly anxious or desperate is encouraged to call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) Helpline. "We are here to help learners and their parents with the stress. I’ve always believed that failure need not be the end of the world; it can be an incredible opportunity for learning and growth," says Chambers.

To further support students, SADAG is hosting two live chats on Facebook, Friday, November 10th, at 1pm with Psychologist, Jeremy Bayer and at 7pm with Psychologist Hameeda Suleman. Join these online Q&As to ask any questions you may have about exams, stress, anxiety, self-help tips and to log in, go to our website www.sadag.org and click on the link or go directly to our Facebook Page: The South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

Whilst many learners and parents feel isolated and alone during this time of year, there is a place they can turn to for help. SADAG has trained counsellors available from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week on 0800 12 13 14.