Exam Stress: What Causes It, and How to Avoid It

Students who are prepping for tests, recitations and various school projects at times feel incredibly stressed out. This stress might bring about feelings of unease and tension, which can get in the way with the everyday life of the student.

Although a small amount of stress might be helpful for students, excessive amounts of it can lead students to performing inadequately on exams that are important to them.

By learning the origins of exam stress, students can learn to understand their emotions and control their levels of unease or nervousness.

Pressure from teachers or family

Plenty of students feel pressure due to their instructors’ or family’s expectations. They want to succeed so their family or teachers won’t feel let down. This pressure can amplify stress related to exams.

In addition, if a student has a scholarship or any academic goals to accomplish, succeeding on those tests is very important. They might also view other students as competition, which can boost their tension levels even more.

Pressure from the student himself

The pressure to make it does not only come from external sources. A number of students might put the pressure on themselves instead. If a certain student wants to be on top of the class, performing poorly on an exam might be frightening for him or her.

People who also spend lots of time thinking about the challenges and difficulties of the test and fussing about the result will experience more stress. Insufficient preparation

Students who feel like they have not done much when it comes to preparing themselves before an exam will feel worried once they are handed with their test papers. In order to avoid this, students should study and prepare well prior to those tests and avoid cramming. Last-ditch preparation will only boost anxiety levels.

Avoiding Exam Stress

Exam anxiety can be experienced prior to the event, during the event or right after the exam. Students may experience symptoms like rapid heart rate and breathing and sweating. A number of students avoid this by studying beforehand, staying healthy and having a positive mindset.

Some Suggestions To Keep Yourself Composed And At Ease During Exams:

Keep calm and think only positive thoughts

To avoid stressing yourself out, you can follow a routine to regulate your thoughts, heart rate and breathing. You can try yoga, listen to relaxing music, taking a short walk or doing breathing exercises.

The anxiety or worry that one feels during exams is not caused out by the exams but by an individual’s reaction to it. Thus if you keep thinking that you are going to fail the tests, you are more likely to experience anxiety.

Prepare prudently

Study in advance and steer clear of cramming one day before the exams. Make it a point to learn and study for 14 days prior to the exams and refer to earlier homework, quizzes, notes and study guides to prep your mind.

In case you do not have sufficient time to go over a semester’s worth of work, concentrate on the most important concepts that you can manage adequately.

Follow a healthier lifestyle

Minimize anxiety and stress by following a healthy lifestyle. The aim here is to be prepared for those exams physically, mentally and emotionally.

Get adequate sleep, take breaks with your friends, eat healthier, well-balanced meals, and get into an exercise routine. Do not spend most of the time worrying over exams and reduce your intake of caffeine and sugared foods.

Alter your pace

If you feel worried during an exam, you can try to regain your focus by taking quick breaks. You can ask a question to your teacher, drop by at the restroom or have a quick drink. This short change of pace will clear your mind of nagging thoughts.

If you have problems over an exam question, just go back to it later and move on to the next question.

If you feel panicky and the moderator or teacher in charge will not allow you to go to the restroom, you can make do with some relaxation methods. Take deep breaths and release the air bit by bit. Relax your shoulder muscles, close your eyes for a brief moment and visualize getting good results in the exam.

Get specialized help

In case the suggestions above did not help, there may be a causal condition that is preventing your capability to focus or learn, like ADD (attention-deficit disorder) or dyslexia. If you are diagnosed with a disorder, you will be provided with additional time to accomplish exams.

A psychologist may also be able to determine whether you have an anxiety disorder and school counselors may help you deal with your thoughts and emotions that increase worries over the course of exams.

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