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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
Chocolate lure in war on exam stress
Exam room
It is hoped the scheme will help calm exam nerves
As the exam season gets underway, students at Bristol University are being encouraged to beat stress with the help of a chocolate brownie, an energy drink and a chocolate bar.

The university's Students' Union is giving out 3,000 "exam survival kits" at libraries, halls of residence and refectories.

Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson: "A fun approach to a serious problem"
But underneath the lure of chocolate goodies, the packs have a more serious message, with leaflets on revision advice and stress reduction techniques.

Helpful telephone numbers, such as the university's counselling service and student night-time listening service, are also included in the survival kits.

Vice-president of the Students' Union, Ben Wilson, said he hoped the scheme would cut down on students' sleepless nights, high blood pressure and unhealthy eating patterns.

"It's easy to forget how important some of these exams and essays really are for many of our students, and it's easy to ignore the huge pressures mounted on them by family, friends and prospective employers," Mr Wilson said.

Pressure

"There is an awful lot of pressure and it's too easy to say exams are something you have to do and you should be able to cope," he said.

Exam results
Students can feel pressurised to get exam results worth celebrating about
But there were some people who did not thrive on that sort of adrenaline and pressure, he added.

"There's no point going all 'mum and dad' on them and tell them they must make sure they're eating properly.

"This lighter, fun approach - with an energy drink and so on - is much better because hopefully they will then look at the flyer attached and think about some of the more serious support on offer," Mr Wilson said.

Meditation and aromatherapy

The Students' Union is also organising meditation sessions and an aromatherapy display to help calm students' exam-time blues.

Fun sports games - such as volleyball, rounders and five-aside football - are also being laid on.

"The idea is to have a bit of fun and a break," Mr Wilson said.

"Sessions will last exactly one hour so that students can be back in the library revising by a certain time."

Main exams at the university begin on 14 May and last for three weeks.

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See also:

11 Sep 00 | Education
Sixth formers' 50-hour week
09 Aug 00 | Education
Samaritans calm exam angst
04 Aug 00 | Education
Exam overload 'stressing pupils'
22 Nov 00 | Education
Sleeping helps students revise
24 Jun 00 | Education
Stressed students turn to bluebells
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