I've found if you look at exams as a celebration of growth and learning, it's not so bad. I actually enjoy reading the papers my students write because I learn a great deal about their personal viewpoint on art and also find out the things I did well as an instructor and the things I could improve upon. Seeing their work collected in a grouping is powerful for me, the instructor and for the students. Suddenly it becomes very clear how much growth has occurred.
Presentation is slightly foreign to artists, as we tend to be the people who stay behind the camera, easel or pottery wheel. Presenting involves stepping out of that comfort zone. The National Art Education Standards include Presentation as one of the core standards. I heartily agree and embrace this standard as a necessary step in artistic development that allows student artists to Connect to the public and find out what people think of their ideas and creations. Art-making is a form of communication and this connection is vital. By presenting their portfolios students evaluate and analyze their progress, while learning how their work impacts others. This is a very "real world" experience for students, since they will need to present themselves, their work and their ideas again and again in college and later in the careers they choose.
So don't let the stress of exams get you down. Instead, celebrate your students achievements and rejoice in the journey you've helped them achieve.
The slideshow featured here includes images of this year's AP Art class installing their first semester Art Exhibit and proudly posing by their work. For more on this show see the Home Page of this site.