Parental pressure and expectations, worry over obtaining high enough grades for further study, peer pressure and lack of self-confidence are all factors leading to stress around exam time for students, say educators.
"There is definitely pressure beforehand," Usha Balachandran, Senior Supervisor of Our Own English High School, Dubai (OOEHSD) told Gulf News.
"I cannot deny the fact that there's pressure: because my school is an Indian curriculum school, the expectations of the parents are quite high," she said.
Balachandran is in charge of 30 teachers and 556 students in Grades 11 and 12.
The pressure for students is high because academic scores in India are very important with many of the students returning to that country after studying in the UAE. Another factor is the extremely high cut-off mark.
Because such high grades are required in the Indian system, students also place a lot of pressure on themselves.
"Percentage passes do matter and there is a lot of pressure from parents also," Asha Chandran, Supervisor of Our Own English High School, Sharjah, (OOEHSS) said. "They know that in India, the competition is very high, and unless they get the grades, they won't qualify," she added.
Chandran works in the girls' branch and is in charge of grades 10 to 12, supervising 790 students.
Exam-time, she said, creates a lot of "hype".
"A lot is hype is generated, girls know what they want and they'll try their best to achieve their goals… When the exam is over they might be feeling greatly relieved, but they know it's for a larger goal," she said.
The school has a counsellor but according to Chandran they are rarely referred for counselling.
"Students can have one-to-one sessions, because of a lack of self-confidence and if they're feeling so stressed out about exams the counsellor can take care of it," she said.
Counsellor Chaishta Dhingra said stress is caused by the amount of work students have to do in the time frame given, extra tuition, homework and their inability to cope with time management.
For Dhingra, parents do exert most of the pressure.
"Yes, pressure is from parents, most definitely. There's definite expectations from parents. Most of the times I've seen with students, parents don't say we want you to score high marks, but the expectation is expressed in some way. They know they have to study, as well as other students in the class putting pressure on them," she said.
Before examinations start, the schools meet parent bodies, Chandran said, to let them know what the dos and don'ts are before their children go to the board exams. OOEHSS also has a life skills education plan for all Grade 11 students, which helps them learn how to cope with stress during exams.
According to Balachandran, pressure is reduced as the curriculum is planned out well at OOEHSD and is in phases that students don't get overburdened at any one time.
From / Gulf News