Exams embody the kind of nerve-racking situations that each and every one of us has been through since we have all been exposed to the education system at some point. Even a good and the well-prepared student is not protected from getting exceedingly panicky during the exam. In fact, it is often the case that stress doesn’t help us achieve our full potential at an exam, not the need of preparation. a number of of us just collapse into some kind of a catatonic state and do not answer even to the simplest of questions that we surely know the correct answers to. Consequently, it is vital to gain knowledge of how to deal with stress during exams. In the midst of mid-term weeks and deadlines of assessments, here is a post on some practical tips on how to overcome stress and not to let it get the best of one’s judgment.
BEFORE THE EXAM:
Here are some basic pre-exam tips to help the student minimize stress and maximize effective study.
Knowledge Is Power
Here, by knowledge, we mean the realization of the fact that one is suffering stress at the moment. Sometimes we just slide into this state of anxiety without noticing, and it takes a little effort to realize it. And just as with any other problem, the realization is the first step to overcoming. If one notices that he is stuck with his exam for no evident reason, he should take a look to see if he has blackouts, has trouble concentrating; dry mouth; headache, nausea and cramps. If the student has these, then it means that he is suffering from anxiety. This knowledge is crucial for overcoming this sad state.
Oxygen Is Life
Oxygen is vital for the proper functioning of a human brain. At times of stress, the accompanying spasms may compromise one’s normal regular breathing. what one needs to do in such situation is take a slow deep breath through the nose, stop breathing for 2 seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth. This should be repeated several times. Another technique is to close one’s eyes, inhale three times, hold their breath for a moment, and then enjoy the exhalation. This one should also be repeated several times. These techniques may also be helpful before the actual exam in order to avoid anxiety instead of waiting for it to come.
Studying the night before an exam causes the level of stress in the body to increase. Unfortunately, this stress doesn’t decrease when one goes to sleep. The best way to reduce anxiety is by taking the night before an exam off to relax by watching TV, talking to a friend or reading a novel. If the student becomes anxious because of not studying the night before an exam, then he should simply review the main points of the subject earlier in the day and leave the night free for other things.
Avoid stressful people
Stress is contagious, so one must resist the urge to have a study session with one’s apprehensive friends before an exam, especially if they’re complaining about all the work they have left to do and pulling their hair out. Their stress will only add to stress and make one doubt himself , even if he knows that he will be fine.
Good nutrition is a leading factor in a student’s academic achievement. A well-balanced diet can help transform a nutritionally imbalanced student into a healthy and dynamic one. And of course, having breakfast before an exam is a must for a student who wants to focus and be most efficient during their exam.
Watch your caffeine intake
Nothing drives up one’s stress level faster than not being able to fall asleep the night before an exam, so avoid beverages like coffee, or high energy drinks unless they are decaffeinated.
Prepare to be prepared
Before going to bed the night before an exam, one should make sure to collect together everything that he will need for the exam. This could include; pens, sharpened pencils, rulers, erasers, calculators, water bottles, tissues and a watch. The student should also double and maybe even triple check the time of the exam, location and seat number. He should allow plenty of time for problems like lack of fuel and traffic on the way, and must making sure to arrive with time to spare so that he can go into his exam calmly rather than in a frantic rush sweating.
Get proper sleep
Staying up all night before an exam is the worst thing one can do. The student can reach a point where his productivity eventually declines, so sleeping is a must to have a refreshed mind the next morning. Regular sleep is the best ways to control exam stress. Students who follow a regular sleeping pattern have been shown to perform much better than students who stay up late.
DURING THE EXAM
Okay, so after the student has done everything he can to get prepared in the lead-up to his exam, he should follow the tips below to combat stress while taking the actual exam.
As one works on his exam, he should focus only on the exam and not on what other students are doing. There will always be students in the same exam room whose aim is to annoy and distract others and not to concentrate on the exam they barely started.
One should begin their exam by skimming through the questions quickly and noting down any initial thoughts or related memorized facts beside each question. One does not always have to start at the beginning if he knows another question better. He should start with the questions he knows best. This will boost his confidence and get him off to a good start. The student should not forget to spend more time on heavier weighted questions.
Haste Makes Waste
If a certain amount of time was allocated for a student to complete the exam, it means that he has enough time, and there is no need for an extreme rush. When he stumbles upon a question that is clearly taking too much of his time, he should remember that it is just one of the questions, and it’s no reason to get nervous. If possible, he should just skip it and leave it for later. However, it does not mean that the student should completely lose his track of time. He should keep his eye on the clock, and about 10 minutes before the time is up, should take some time to look through his answers once again, and then return to that lousy question that he had skipped.
There’s No Harm in Asking
If the student finds himself stuck with a certain question or issue, he should raise his hand and ask his instructor. Even if the instructor does not answer his question – directly or indirectly (to avoid giving him an advantage over other students), he will get a little bit of a distraction that he needs at the moment. Besides, as discussed before, the very motion of raising one’s hand and putting it down is good for one’s blood circulation.
AFTER THE EXAM
The student should remember that the things he does after an exam are just as important for dealing with stress as the things he does before and during.
The student should reward himself as soon as the exam is over. If he does not have any other commitments, go out and do something like seeing a movie with a friend. If one has other exams to study for, it’s better to postpone for a larger treat. Nevertheless, thirty minutes for a coffee with a friend or a quick swim in the pool will definitely give him the boost needed for the next exam.
Overall, exams are indeed important and they do need to be taken seriously. And yet, one shouldn’t let it get to him. It is functional to treat them with a certain amount of cheerfulness. After all, it is just one exam. A lone exam seldom has a huge outcome. One exam may be significant, but it’s only one of the many parts of the student’s learning. And its part in building his future is even less important. The student should remember that doing well at exams does not guarantee one a happy life. And neither does poor performance condemn one to a life of misery. Surely, the future employer will most likely be pleased to see the student’s good grades, but there are so many more things that count. Stress-resistance, for example. As a matter of fact, going through demanding situations and dealing with them is an examination in itself. And it is indeed an key part of the exam familiarity as such.
Through the course of one’s independent life after graduation, he will most surely have to face much more serious situations than a little exam. Should the student happen to fail, the consequences may be much more drastic. Such a situation will naturally bring huge amounts of stress. But now that one knows how to conquer stress and anxiety, it will help him deal with such situations and avoid failing. These are therefore, some basic ways that can make exam time a little bit easier. These reliable and personally road-tested tips are essential for any student wanting to cope with exam stress and ensure exam success.