What is exam stress?
Exam stress is a feeling of things getting out of control before the exam like
- Do I know enough;
- What questions will come up;
- What if I do badly;
- If I don’t pass, my family and friends will lose respect for me; etc.
How to manage exam stress?
It is natural for some students to feel stressed in the days of examination, whatever may be the level of preparation. So it is important to know how to cope with exam stress. Here are some important tips to overcome the exam stress.
1. Psychological treatment; Practice of positive affirmations:
- Every thought is a cause and every condition an effect; for this reason it is absolutely essential that you control your thoughts so as to bring forth only desirable conditions. It is our attitude of mind toward life which determines the experiences with which we are to meet.
- Our difficulties are largely due to confused ideas and ignorance of our true interests. Negative thinking, self criticism, irrational thinking about examinations creates stress at the last moment.
So, you should actively control your irrational thoughts. Practice the positive affirmations to overcome the fear of examination. One of the strongest affirmations which you can use for the purpose of strengthening the will and realizing your power to accomplish, is, “I will do my best”. Some other affirmations which may also be used as:
- I can do this;
- I can pass this test;
- I will focus only on the questions in front of me;
- I have done it before, so I can do it again.
Every time you repeat, it realize that your objects and purposes are clear and in harmony with the creative principle of Universe.
2. Manage your time wisely:
One of the biggest stress for many students is lack of time. Everyone in this universe have equal time. Time management plays very important role in success of a person.
- Review your all daily and weekly activities to see what is your necessity and what can be dropped.
- Make your study plan.
- Make a time table, in which you have time for every subject of your course as well as time for refreshment and other daily activities.
3. Learn and practice relaxation techniques:
Tensions leads to mental unrest and abnormal mental activity of the mind; it produces worry, care, fear and anxiety. Relaxation is therefore an absolute necessity in order to allow the mental faculties to exercise the greatest freedom. Here are some techniques useful for relaxation:
- Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. By deep breathing, we inhale more oxygen which helps to burn the glucose and release more energy.
- Walking is best physical exercise which helps in reducing physical tension and releases natural feed good brain chemicals. By moving your body, you are increasing the blood flow to your brain and melting away stress from your mind and body.
- Get out in nature and enjoy fresh air. Being with nature is a simple and effective way of decreasing stress and increasing your focus which will help you when you return to the books.
- As soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration. Take a 10 to 15 minutes break to get refreshed.
4. Preparation for examination day:
- Lack of rest just aggravates stress. Get a good night’s sleep before exam day. Avoid becoming all-nighter to safe from fatigue due to stress.
- Students should take balanced sleep and diet before one’s examination day.
- Make sure you get reach examination centre well in advance of the exam time.
- If possible, do a test trip to the examination centre. Work out how long it will take to get there – then add on some extra time.
- Check your admit card, basic requirements for examination before move to exam center.
5. How to avoid last minute nervousness:
It’s natural to feel some nervousness prior to the examination, but getting excessively nervous is counterproductive as you will not be able to think clearly. In case of panic situation:
- Close your eyes and take several long, slow deep breaths. Breathing in this way, clams your whole nervous system. Simultaneously you could give yourself some mental pep-talk by mentally repeating “I am calm and relaxed” or “I know I will do fine”.
- If, it is harder to recall information, focus on slow, deep breathing for about one minute. If you still can’t remember the information, then move on to another question and return to this question later.
Some other important points that should be given proper attention:
- Respect yourself for working hard, it’s great to do well in examinations, but remember that examinations aren’t the only factor that will help you succeed in life.
- Do the best that you can; examinations are not life-threatening. See the lighter side of life also.
- If exam stress is putting you in an unmanageable state or interfering with your study/school work, express your worries to a good friend, family member, your school tutor or seek professional help from a student counsellor. Confiding in someone you trust, will be supportive in a great way to reduce exam stress and worry.