Your heart is beating fast. The sweat is dripping down your neck. Your mind has a freak-out session, as you ponder on all the possible outcomes. An unknown hand hands you your destiny, also known as, your report card. Pressure to receive good marks is definitely a common situation, but is there too much academic pressure on teenagers?

Too much homework!
I am in the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), which means that I learn things a little faster than others. We are often scared of falling behind, because we donít want to get kicked out of the program. Keeping up with class work and homework can especially be a concern in my class, but it affects other classes, too. Unfortunately, a teacher often forgets that each student usually has several other teachers that will give the same amount of homework, resulting in a huge pile of homework that makes kids want to scream! This is often the reason students fall behind in a subject, because they fuss a very long time -- too much time -- on one subject instead of getting started on another subject.

Time management
Time management can be a solution for this. If you have a homework problem, you can separate your night into different sections and reserve one subject for each section. Many people over-do it, though. They feel pressured to go over each piece of work over and over again. This wastes time, and they donít have time for other subjects. These students donít understand that itís ok to make mistakes and they forget that school is for learning. They stress out too much over small mistakes.

Tutors and free time
With this anxiety, demands for tutors and extra help are increasing. One of my relatives is a full-time tutor. She says tutoring is just as much for parents these days as it is for their kids. ďItís not only because the kids arenít doing well in school, itís because the parents arenít able to help their kids with their work, so the parents are stressed out, too,Ē she says. Also, with all the stressing out over work, kids donít have time for quality time with family members, sports, and other free time. Kids need free time, it helps a lot. Something that parents can do to help is give them some free time, and go over everything with them to make sure that they arenít focusing on a single subject, but rather spreading their energies more effectively over all their courses. Academic pressure can make you think of yourself as a machine; its only purpose to receive good marks. To all the other teenagers, donít give into academic pressure. It stresses you out and you should definitely find some free time at some point in your day, every day. Relaxing helps you just as much as work does, and you need a balance.

Personally, I often have to deal with academic pressure, especially for my report card results. I sometimes have a strange feeling that I wonít do well, even if I did well in all my tests. I guess you can call it fear of failure. Because of this fear, I try to do my very best all the time, since Iím not sure which grades my teachers are going to count the most. One way I deal with academic pressure is by managing my time and working around the due dates of assignments. Instead of reviewing the same work over and over, I give myself a cut off to finish my work, usually a couple of days before the actual due date. Also, if I receive homework that is due the next day, I give myself specific hourly deadline to have it finished by so I still have time for myself. When it comes to academic pressure, a little bit of it can be healthy. It encourages you to do well. Too much of it, though, can stress you out and cause you to do even worse!