Under pressure

Australian teens are choking under the stress of exams.

Global study of student welfare has revealed Australian teenagers are succumbing to the pressures of schooling.

The worldwide study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation found Aussie teens had more exam anxiety than students in most other countries, with three-quarters of female students and half of their male cohort reportedly stressed over school work.

The study concluded that 74% of girls were worried they would receive poor grades, while only 57% of boys feared the same result.

Teachers were left with a reason to smile, though, with 90% of 15-year-old Australian students wanting to achieve top marks in most subjects.

More than 60% of students also received tutoring outside of school for an average of 4.5 hours a week.

Parents who help their children with homework, however, might need to rethink their strategy, as results showed students performed worse with parental assistance than if they did the work on their own.

The report also warned that elite schools and private education institutions could be responsible for putting too much pressure on students to perform well.

“Parents of students in elite schools often pay substantial tuition fees and expect their children to gain admission to top-tier universities,’’ the OECD report read.

“Under pressure to improve their students’ test performance, teachers may emphasise the need to do well on a test to gain access to university or better jobs.

Both teachers and parents need to find ways to encourage students’ motivation to learn and achieve without generating an excessive fear of failure.

The study also found that bullying was common across the country, with 15% of Australian high school students being bullied, compared with nine percent in most other developed countries.


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