Are you among those students who become excessively lean or fat during the exams? Or are you among one of those who cannot sleep properly and dream of failing the exams? If yes, you are reading the right blog. You can now wave goodbye to your exam stress.
How to deal with exam stress
Exam stress is a very common phenomenon among the students. It is a combination of peer pressure, societal pressure, family expectations and your own expectations from yourself. It is nothing to worry about. You can employ a few good tricks to keep the pressure at bay.
Treat exams as any other small test
Here is an exercise for you. Count the number of all the exams that you have given till date since the day you were born. I bet the number would come out to be greater than 20. Now think that if you have given so many exams till date, your brain has become acquainted with the process of exams till now. Surely no exam was as important as you are giving right now, but those previous exams were very important for you at the time when you were giving them. You have already faced this stress a hundred of times. And you succeeded in facing it and getting better grades then. So why would anything be different now? Think of exams as something that happens in life. This way the stress will be released.
Practice deep breathing
Whenever you are under stress, just stretch out with flat palms and flat legs, relax and take deep breaths for 10-15 minutes with positive thoughts. This helps in making more oxygen reach your brain and releases relaxing toxins in your body which eliminates stress. Relaxing is very important for your over fried brain during those crucial times.
Do things which boosts your confidence
It is very important to remain confident all through the exam times. Your confidence is reflected in the answers that you write in those exam sheets, which in turn affects the examiner’s mind to give you good marks. Every individual knows what makes them happy and what boosts their confidence. Do it whenever the pressure toll takes you down and get back up to start again with renewed confidence.
Walk or exercise
If you cannot sleep through the night because of the stress, then taking a walk in the breezy air is a very effective remedy to get you in the sleepy mode. It is a form of easy exercise and doing it till your legs are tired helping to you sleep very easily. Another thing that is very effective is exercising. Studies have shown that exercising helps you release stress. Plus it keeps your body from gaining that extra weight because of all the study sittings that you do without any physical activity.
Talk with friends and family
Stress is a harmful thing which if increased above the manageable level can lead to several health problems. If you are facing unmanageable stress, share it with your family and friends. They will rationally tell you about what can be done and help in reducing it.
Every student in his or her student life falls victim to exam stress at one point or the other. While the below average students are struggling to pass their exams, the average ones are trying to find a way to be on the top. Even the toppers face a hard time trying to maintain their position. There are ways in which you can avoid that crippling anxiety that is a result of exam stress. All you require is some discipline and a broad-minded attitude.
Starting The Exam Preparations:
1. Know All The Requirements For The Examination
Before you start preparing for a test or an examination you should know what kind of a response is expected from you. Consult your teacher and gain full information about the syllabus and test pattern beforehand. Then you can prepare accordingly. Clarify any doubts related to the test pattern and the syllabus before you sit down to prepare.
2. Taking Notes
When you are in class always pay attention and take notes of what the teacher is saying. Taking notes does not mean a dictation. Only note down the key points and the gist of what your teacher said. Full sentences do not hold as much importance as the main points. Review your notes on a daily or a weekly basis to stay in touch with previous lessons. If you rely entirely on your textbooks or your memory, you will be much more stressed out right before the examination.
3. The Similarity of Your Study Environment and The Examination Hall
There is a very important context in psychology known as context-dependent memory. Humans tend to remember a lot easier when they have prepared in a similar environment. Till the time you are in high school, you have an idea of how the atmosphere in your school examination hall is. Try to replicate that kind of an environment while you are studying. This will help you remember concepts in a better manner and thus, in turn, avoid exam stress.
4. Time Management
Merely cramming at the last minute will not take you anywhere. It is always better to plan out your lessons in advance. Prescribe a specific time of the day to studies. In that duration refrain from any distractions that might break your concentration. If you are unable to study for a really long duration continuously, you can take breaks as per your requirement. The more focused you are while learning, the better you are at dealing with exam stress.
5. Getting Rid of Distractions
Letting your attention wander around during studying can cost you a lot during exam days. Make sure that whenever you sit down to study you get rid of all the things that can cause your focus to deviate from studies. Every time your mind starts to wonder, remind yourself that you have a goal to achieve.
6. Realize The Importance Of Taking Breaks
No matter how long you try to cram your syllabus, the mind has a limit when it comes to retaining information. Short and frequent breaks recharge your brain so that the study material is better absorbed afterwards. Studying is not just about looking at a book for hours. If you genuinely wish to combat tension and lower down your stress levels, then you should also take breaks even when you are studying for a lengthy examination. When you tend to study at a stretch for long hours, you are bound to get confused and mess up the answers while writing your test.
7. Getting Plenty of Sleep
One of the biggest mistakes students commit during exam days is sacrificing their sleep. The most significant misconception is that the lesser they sleep, the more syllabus they can cover. Well, in order to bust that myth it is required that a student must understand that lack of sleep causes unnecessary fatigue, weakness, and even more anxiety. So instead of getting rid of exam fear you are actually inviting more stress during exam time.
Sometimes when the students are tensed about exams, they might face some issues in getting a good night's sleep. Relaxing music can help in such cases. Block out any noise that might disturb you and listen to something calm. Decide how many hours of sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning and follow a routine.
8. A Balanced Diet
Always eat a variety of healthy foods so that you get all the vital nutrients. Foods that have undergone too much processing can make you feel dizzy and unhealthy foods cause negativity. Try to include fruits, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, etc.
It is necessary to include some exercise in your daily routine as it is required to keep your mind and body in an active state. Do what makes you feel uplifted. Yoga and meditation work for some people while others prefer heavy workouts such as aerobics or hitting the gym.
10. Increasing Concentration
It doesn't matter if you sit in front of your course books for hours staring at them. What counts is the knowledge you gain even if it is achieved in a short interval of time. Even if you are not able to concentrate for longer periods of time continuously, make sure that whenever you study you do it with full focus.
11. Prioritize Your Syllabus
In order to avoid excessive stress during exams, sort out your syllabus. Decide the priority of various topics. Give the utmost attention to the important topics. There are more chances of questions from those topics ending up in your test. Therefore, if you are thorough with all the important questions you will feel relaxed.
Handling Stress On The Day of Examination
It is essential to keep a calm mind on the day of your test. There are some measures you can take to combat stress on a crucial day. Let us take a look.
1. Having a Proper Breakfast
Do not skip breakfast on the day of your exam to keep your energy levels elevated. Avoid too much sugar. Even though foods containing sugar might give you an instant energy boost, they can cause you to crash in the middle of your test.
2. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
If you are habitual of one small cup of coffee with breakfast, then go for it. Caffeine, when taken in small amounts, can actually be beneficial in improving your self-confidence. However, you have to be careful not to go overboard on the day of your examination as too much caffeine will just contribute to your anxiety and stress.
3. Arrive Early in The Examination Hall
Although you might want to revise all you can get just before the exam but resist the urge for last-minute revisions. Your mind has the capability to retain what you have studied. Stay calm and arrive at the examination hall before time in order to avoid any hassles during the exam. It is better that you avoid the extra stress that comes from being late for a test.
4. Read The Instructions Carefully
Being ambiguous during the test can increase your worry. Carefully take note of what is expected of you and roughly calculate how much time you should give to each question. You might want to start the paper right away without wasting any time, but it is crucial to read the instructions carefully in order to save yourself from any trouble mid-exam. This will not take more than 5 to 10 minutes, but in the end, it will be totally worth it.
5. Stay Relaxed
Regardless of the complexity level of the exam, you should make sure to keep your body and mind in a relaxed yet alert state. If you panic you increase your chances of making blunders in the paper which you might regret later. No matter how hard the questions seem, if you have adequately studied, you will be able to answer them provided that you stay calm.
Handling Post-examination Stress:
1. Don't Overthink
There is no harm in predicting a little bit, but if you tend to go overboard with discussing the question paper with your friends, then you need to check this attitude of yours and try to keep your mind off the previous test. You should realize that once your exam is over, there is nothing you can do to change what happened during the test. So the best option is letting it go.
2. Learn From Your Mistakes
Treat every examination as an essential learning experience. Try to avoid any mistakes you committed in this paper when you appear for the next one.
Even though exam time is one of the most crucial moments in a student's life, it is essential to give yourself a break and know that they are just a part of life. Even if you are not able to give your best performance, you should know that it is not the end of life. Don't be too hard on yourself as opportunities will always knock on your door.