With the baccalaureate exam being only a few days away, some students are fully prepared and confident whereas others are completely consumed by fear.
Morocco’s baccalaureate exams are around the corner, set to begin July 3. The clock is ticking, and every second is crucial for the 318,917 students preparing. While some students are confident and ready to rise to the challenge, others are anxious, afraid, stressed out of their minds, and unprepared for such long and laborious tests.
Morocco World News (MWN) interviewed students in order to get a clear idea of the way they feel as the exam date approaches. A professor also shared pieces of advice to help students prepare for the tests.
Students caught between anxiety and confidence
Mohammed Bouayad, a senior in Belbachir school in Rabat, is fully prepared for the baccalaureate. According to Bouayad, communicating with professors through platforms such as Zoom and Skype facilitated the process of preparing for the exams.
“The professors made considerable efforts to prepare us for the exam. From my perspective, distance learning has been a successful alternative,” said Bouayad.
Bouayad also mentioned that despite all the resources provided by the school and the help of the professors, the baccalaureate is still a highly stressful prospect. “I will not be fully relaxed until I complete all the baccalaureate tests,” said Bouayad.
The feelings that Bouayad shared seem to be common among Moroccan high school seniors. Hajar Benali, a senior at Bouchaib Dekkali high school in Sale expressed her readiness for the baccalaureate exam despite the difficulties she encountered during the preparation process.
Benali described the process as “anxiety-inducing.” The student mentioned that she experienced psychological pressures over the course of the past academic year. Despite encountering many bumps in the road, Benali also expressed her optimism, saying that she “overcame multiple challenges” and is now prepared to the best of her abilities to take the tests.
If Benali has been able to overcome her anxiety, other students are still caught in a downward spiral. The upcoming baccalaureate exam is their primary thought, shredding their peace of mind into a million pieces.
“We are scared. We are overwhelmed. When I wake up, the first thought that crosses my mind is the baccalaureate exam. When I go to sleep, the baccalaureate is haunting my dreams. When I am about to eat, I remember the baccalaureate and I immediately lose appetite,” said Anass Hajjaoui, a senior at Annasim high school in Temara.
Hajjaoui’s words emphasize the mental strain that the baccalaureate puts on students as it is a decisive step in a Moroccan’s career.
Professor shares advice
It is the responsibility of professors to prepare their students for the baccalaureate exam. Professors ought to correct practice tests and explain any ambiguous concepts that cause confusion.
Saadia El Harrab, a professor of Arabic at Annassim high school in Temara, tries to communicate with her students as much as possible through Whatsapp, Facebook, and Zoom in order to reassure them that the exams will not be difficult if they work hard and take her advice into account.
El Harrab tries to motivate her students and help them overcome their baccalaureate-related fears and anxieties.
“I truly feel for the students. This year, they do not only have to worry about the difficulty of the exam but also COVID-19,” said El Harrab. The professor also highlighted the importance of taking preventive measures throughout the baccalaureate period saying that “everyone taking part in the exams has to be cautious and follow health protocols.”
El Harrab urges students to go through their material, take their time and make use of every resource at their disposal, most notably the help of professors and practice tests.
Another exam, another chance to shine
Professors generally encourage their students to go through their course material little by little and ask for assistance if they have trouble understanding a certain concept.
Practice tests are crucial. They are the most helpful asset to use when preparing for the baccalaureate as they help the student identify strengths and weaknesses.
The baccalaureate exam is known for being repetitive, and the more practice tests a student does, the more they will feel like they are familiar with every potential question that could come up the day of the exam.
“All you have to do is focus on your study and success will be your ally,” Moroccan actor Mohamed Khouyi told baccalaureate students through a Ministry of Education broadcast last week.
In an encouraging trend, 65.55% of baccalaureate students passed their exams in 2019, compared to 57.36% the previous year. Morocco has taken several steps to ensure students are well-prepared for the exam this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting optimism for a continued positive trend.