Psychologists say games can help teens study and avoid exam stress


Psychologists say games can help teens study and avoid exam stress

Dominic Sacco
2 min read | 24 Apr 2017

Psychologists have suggested that playing games in moderation can help teenagers study, improve their memory and reduce exam stress – particularly visual and strategic games.

Last year there was a 20% rise in the number of teenagers contacting Childline about exam stress, according to a recent newspaper supplement.

And psychologists have said that playing games may help teens focus better, as well as boost their strategic thinking and social skills.

The ‘Exclusively Education’ supplement in the Essex Chronicle, Brentwood Gazette and Essex Live, states that games also teach people that if a strategy’s not working – they need to change direction.

Educational psychologist Kairen Cullen said: “Our brains thrive on variety and stimulation and sitting for hours in front of written text can certainly dull the appetite for learning, so the addition of traditional and computer-based games, social interaction and physical activity is to be encouraged.”

Internet psychologist Graham Jones added: “One of the best ways of trying to remember facts is to visualize them. And a classic technique is to place the facts in picture form on a familiar journey.

“So a game that improves visual thinking would be good – video games for example.

“They improve visualisation and so would help students more easily use the journey technique.”

The report said that longer, more complex strategic games can help the user consider alternative courses of actions and risks, and can help improve attention span.

These games can increase levels of focus and concentration.

The report also said that taking 20 minute study breaks, followed by 20 minutes of studying, was another effective technique.

Another report from Oxford University found that spending 4 hours 17 minutes a day on computers on average allows adolescents to improve social skills and support without impacting their wellbeing. However, it did advise people to avoid blue light such as that from smartphone screens, especially before sleeping.

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