Education students reminded that, You are capable, you are here, and you can do it” as they get ready to tackle their first Wits exams. 

Over 100 education students, mostly first-years attended the Wits School of Education (WSoE) exam drive on Thursday May 26, 2022, on Education Campus to learn about the processes of online learning and how to cope with “exam stress”.

The students’ anxiety as their first Wits exams approach, became evident when the head of school, Dr Thabisile Nkambule told them, “There is nothing to be scared of.” This was greeted by loud murmurs throughout the room. However, she encouraged students to “take advantage” and talk to the speakers, and students from other years as they had all experienced the exam process and could guide them. Students could talk to speakers after the seminar but could also contact them via email.  

Lucy Khofi, a Wits PhD candidate and mental health activist, said that the best way to cope with exam stress and to protect mental health was to “plan your day”, make a study plan and commit to those plans.  

During an exercise conducted by Wits master’s student Palesa Mofokeng, students had to write the words that came to mind when they heard the word “exam”. Many students wrote “stress” or “failure”. One student who said “distinctions”, got a cheer from everyone. Mofokeng reminded students that our “words can become reality” and we should therefore “guard our thoughts”.  

First-year student, Amahle Mpolweni, told Wits Vuvuzela that she had been stressed about the upcoming June exams and how the online format would be as she had “thought it would be in-person”. She was initially unaware of the two different formats – the take home assessment and online test. Ameeta Merhoye, the WSoE head of exams, explained these formats when she gave her talk, helping students understand the online processes. 

Mpolweni said the talk “relieved” some of her stress, knowing that she could go to colleagues and lecturers for help.  

FEATURED IMAGE: A Wits student writes down the words associated with exams. Photo: Tylin Moodley