Do you feel anxious night before the exam? Is there a feeling of being overwhelmed and a reduction in your motivation? Do you experience sudden headaches and confuse yourself as to what to study and what not to? Do you forget things in the middle of the examination due to stress? If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, you are experiencing exam stress. It is a common phenomenon and a number of other people also have a similar experience, so you are not alone.
Usually, everyone is always worried about how they are going to do at different stages of life. This kind of situation occurs not just in case of exams but also before an interview, a group discussion, etc. I’m sure you must have experienced something like this. But taking stress is very common before exams. It is not as though people who have not studied well take the stress.
Sometimes, even the ones who have everything prepared fall prey to pre-exam stress. It can occur due to a variety of reasons like worrying about how you are going to perform, lack of confidence in yourself, stress about something else which transfers to exams, lack of preparation, etc. Sometimes it is due to the family pressure also.
Parents tend to hold a very high expectation which scares the children and causes stress and anxiety. Parents should avoid stressing their children with the burden of expectations as it does more harm than good.
One day when I was taking a session, a student came up to me and told me that she has smiled after a very long time. Upon talking, I found out that she was sad because she had failed in her exams, which upset her parents. This shows how pressure can influence children in a negative way, so it is better to motivate them to do their best instead.
All of this actually occurs because of viewing exams as hurdles rather than a ladder. If you start viewing exams as steps which help you move upward, the fear of exams will reduce to an extent and so will the fear of failing. We all know that some steps are easy to climb and some are not but if you work hard, have a strong determination, and decide to not give up, you can easily climb even the most difficult steps. It is okay to be slow and steady; it is even okay to not finish first. What is important is the process. The things you have learned in the process will matter.
When you feel like you are stressing out, it is important to calm down your brain. This is so because you will need your analytical skills while giving an exam. If you are calm, you will be able to quickly understand the questions and answer them. Here are some tips to consider during the exam time-
Maintain a Routine
If you have a proper schedule, most of your stress will vanish. Maintain a routine is important to finish things on time and maintain your health as well. Exam time can be exhausting, therefore it is important to sleep and eat on time along with studying. If you are able to maintain a balance, you will be on the right track. A routine will also give you the required time for studying as both, studying too much and not studying enough can be causes of stress. There should also be enough time to relax in order to freshen up your mind.
You must have regularly heard this from your parents and teachers- stay positive. This is something of utmost importance yet we forget to consider this. Being positive does not mean that even if you have not studied, you just relax thinking that it will be okay. Being positive means working on how to correct it without stressing out. It means determination, courage and a belief upon you. If you try to leave all the negativity behind for once and make your own positive space, you will feel a lot less anxious. It will improve your performance and help you move towards a better approach towards examinations.
A key element is to be focused on. You should focus on improving your own performance and not on your friends’ preparation or grades. Peer pressure of this kind won’t do any good to you. Everyone has different goals and different capabilities. Your only focus should be yourself. Instead of stressing, you should pay attention to giving your best shot. There should be no worry for the results but focus on improving ‘now’.
Nothing is impossible; if you can think of it, you can do it. There are always second chances. If you are focused, determined and have the will, you can definitely achieve your goal. Remember,
“Success does not mean the absence of failures. It means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle.” – Edwin C. Bliss
By Anshula Verma