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Examination stress and adaptive capacity of the body to students

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N. M. Fateeva – Dr.Sc. (Biol.), Professor, Department of medical and biologic disciplines and a security of ability to live, Tyumen State University, Institute of Psychology and Pedagogics. E-mail: fateevan@bk.ru
A. V. Arefyeva – Ph.D. (Biol.), Associate Professor, Department of medical and biologic disciplines and a security of ability to live, Tyumen State University, Institute of Psychology and Pedagogics. E-mail: avarefieva@rambler.ru


Students experience psychoemotional stress in the process of learning in a higher educational establishment. Exam stress takes one of first places among those that cause mental stress of secondary and especially high school students. The aim of this work was to study educational and exam stress, resistance to stress and anxiety of students during a semester and an examination session. Comparative analysis of the results revealed increasing of the anxiety level of 64% examined students during the session compared to the semester. The study revealed a high stress resistance among extroverts groups of students with high neuroticism level and introverts with high neuroticism level. Analysis of the examination stress impact on the indicators of vegetative nervous system allowed us to determine the predominance of sympathetic vegetative nervous regulation type by the 64% of students during a semester, but during the session this indicator increased and was registered by 83% of the students. Exam stress conditions lead to a significant increase of the Kerdo’s vegetative index indicator of nearly all students. This result is confirmed by the studies of adaptive capacity of the organism by the method of R.M. Baevsky. So, examined students showed a satisfactory level of adaptation to academic load during a semester, but when they had exam session, 17% of students showed the adaptive reserves tension of the organism. During the session, compared to the semester period, 25% of students had increased systolic blood pressure, 36% - increased heart rate. Thus, we found that exam stress and stress resistance depend on the students’ personality characteristics. During the examination session in comparison to the semester period students disclose the changes of their psychophysiological indicators which are shown in increasing of the anxiety level and vegetative balance impairment, as a result they both reduce the adaptation capacity of the organism.
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