Strategies to Reduce Stress Before Exam
- May 30, 2014
Examinations are a vital key to success in life and forms an important part of student’s life. Students do tend to get stressed and overwhelmed by the expectations set by the competitive age, parents and school. The performance pressure and the stress of study load tends to make the situation out of control. However, it must be kept in mind that exams are just to evaluate your preparation hence, too much of stress level can hamper the performance, distorting the equation level.
Dealing with the stress level is both essential and easy. Students require to cope up with physical symptoms and the cognitive or mental aspects. Recognize your stress levels to manage them and list down ways to overcome them that triggers irritation, tension and feeling of failures. Eminent psychologists have recommended several techniques that have proved to be extremely successful for students. Nevertheless, there is no magic cure for exam anxiety and requires practice and persistence to win over it.
Types of Exams Stress to Cope Up With
Exams stress can be of varied types, making you feel out of control and anxious. With plethora of questions raging the mind like do I know the answers? Have a completed all? Do I remember the notes? What if I perform badly and get low scores? This triggers irritable reactions making the students feel panicky. Let’s first identify the types of anxiety.
Routine issues: It can range from
- Sleepless nights or disturbed sleep
- Poor appetite
- Inadequate rest
- Poor nutrition
- Unscheduled lifestyle
- Not able to prioritize commitments
Psychological factors: This ranges from
- Feeling out of control
- Being inconsistent about preparation
- Low confidence level
- Tensions about outcomes
- Nervousness about giving exams
- Negative thoughts about positive performance
Learning styles: This includes
- Last minute preparation
- Partial preparation; not covering all the essential topics
- Reading without understanding
- Not able to recall
- Less time for revision
- Studying all night causing stress level
Suggestions to Reduce Stress Level
Minimum stress level helps to work and function effectively but if it’s overwhelming then it can hamper the performance level. So remaining aware of the problems and seeking for effective solutions can help reduce the stress level, fostering better performance and good results. Some easy ways to tackle the issues are:
- Make plans: Make a schedule or timetable chart planning the time for different subjects. Creating a timetable is an ideal way to deal with exam stress. The plan must have time slots for all subjects, difficult and unmanageable topics and also for revision.
- Remain prepared and be confident: Be aware of the preparation, exam details and materials on which you will be tested. Set a realistic goal that’s achievable and work hard to accomplish it. Don’t get overwhelmed by the results, concentrate on the performance instead. Integrate ideas from the lectures, notes, questions and supplementary texts to prepare aptly for the best performance.
- Work best with your lacunas: Concentrate more on the weak points, subjects or topics. Review the entire course plan and then focus on the issues that need more dedication and time for preparation. Take help from tutors, teachers, refer to books but don’t try to mug up everything. Prioritize your needs.
- Relax your mind: Anxiety is a natural reaction experienced by most people confronted with a stressful condition. So, do you feel traumatic upon entering the exam room? If yes, then relax your mind and practice deep breathing. Remember, this is not your last exam. Calm your mind and concentrate on the exam paper and the questions to answer.
- Take important steps: Every individual has varied modes of studying ways and needs. Students have different strong and weak areas hence, should take vital steps to overcome the stumbling blocks. You also take steps to distress yourself by expressing your worries to a friend, family member, tutor or a student counselor. Refresh yourself by eating, talking, moving about, watching TV, listening to light music and others.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A fit and healthy lifestyle boosts energy and helps to distress. Eat good quality food and drink water or other energy drinks, fostering vitality. Even exercising or being engaged in outdoor activities like swimming, cycling, games, jogging, walking, yoga etc all prove to be helpful
- Take proper breaks: Studying for long hours will make you feel strained and wrecked. So, it’s necessary to take short breaks for better focus. Divide your time wisely for both studies and other absorbing activities that reduce drowsiness and monotony. Go for a brisk walking that boosts blood supply. Remain fresh and alert.
- Visualize success: Think positive and hope for success. Thoughts of failure cause stress thus, hindering performance level. So never think “what if I fail in the coming paper”. Rather think ‘I will be able to fair well’. Think of the happy hours after the exams get over and the rewards to obtain after the result.
- Avoid cramming: Cramming usually involves memorizing material at the eleventh hour. This causes rise in stress level and even impedes your recalling ability during the exams. Memorizing that the last moment also can make you forget your earlier preparations. Hence, by studying over the entire term in an organized way avoids cramming before the exams. If you are unable to cover all the material given throughout the semester, select important portions that you can cover well. Study those accurately and set a goal of presenting your knowledge of this information on the exam paper.
- Do revisions: Before hitting the pillow make sure you do your revisions. Do not study any new topics before the exams, it might confuse you. Revise the difficult portions earlier as it might take more time; keep the easy ones for the last. Specify the time-periods of your revision for example, Monday English 9:00-10:30, 11-12:01 Mathematics.
Tips to Distress before Exam
- Get plenty of sleep the night before the exam
- Pack all the essential such as admit card, pen, scale, watch, exam board and others
- On the exam day eat moderately and drink water
- Keep yourself relaxed and calm
- Arrive at the exam centre early
- Avoid talking too much with peers that diverts your focus
- In the exam hall review the exam paper thoroughly
- Go through the directions properly
- Make time estimation for each question, don’t run out of time at the end
- Don’t panic seeing the questions, you know them—just give some time
- Write your name. Roll no. class etc properly-it’s important
- If you have any issues clarify from the teacher
- Attempt all questions, recall your answers in your mind
Normal stress level proves useful for the learning procedure but getting overpowered by it requires immediate attention and tips to combat it. Remember exams are just a test your abilities and do not ascertain your success in life. You always have other chances. Concentrate on your exam preparation from beforehand and stick to your routine. Follow certain guidelines and the tips stated above to make the most of the examination preparatory period.
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