Exams are a crucial part of education and the source of stress for many students. In order to avoid crippling anxiety from these pesky evaluations, it is important to approach them with a clear mind and an understanding of how to deal with stressful situations more broadly. In many cases, exam stress is all in the mind, and mental discipline is a large part of what is needed to succeed.
PART- III HEART BEATING FASTER THAN NORMAL DURING EXAM HOURS
1. Avoid rushing. Take your time going through the exam. If you get stuck on a question for a long time, instead of getting stressed about it, keep in mind that it is just one question on the exam. If possible (if the way the test is structured allows it), skip that question and return to it at the end if you have time.
2. Chew some gum. Reduce your anxiety by chewing on some gum. This will keep your mouth busy and can act as a release for your anxiety.
3. Ask your instructor if you’re stuck. It doesn’t hurt to ask for clarification on something. She may or may not answer your question as it may give you an unfair advantage over other students, but you lose only a few seconds by raising your hand and asking.
4. Recognize test anxiety. Once you realize you are suffering from anxiety, use some or all of the steps below to alleviate it. Exam anxiety can appear in the form of a number of symptoms including: Cramps, Dry mouth, Nausea, Headache, Rapid heartbeat, Restless thoughts, Mental blackouts, Trouble concentrating.
5. Remember to breathe. With your eyes closed, take three large breaths, then pause, exhale, and repeat the process. Large, deliberate breaths not only help relax the body, but also increase the flow of oxygen to the brain. Use this technique both before the test and during difficult areas of the exam.
Inhale through your nose for a count of 4. Try to hold your breath for a count of 2, then slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
6. Expand and contract your muscles. For example, tighten your shoulders and slowly relax them, repeating the process in other tense areas of your body. Tightening muscles before relaxing them enhances the body’s relaxation awareness, which relaxes the body even more.
7. Take a break if you need to. If allowed, get up and get a drink of water, use the bathroom, or simply stretch your legs if it will help you regain focus and decrease anxiety.
8. Put the exam in perspective. Keep in mind that, in the grand scheme of your future, doing poorly on one exam will likely not be that impactful. We often overestimate how bad things will be and how poorly they will make us feel. Keep that in mind if you find yourself getting stressed out in the middle of your exam. It is probably not the end of the world if you do poorly. Life will go on and you can study harder for the next one!
IF YOU ARE HAVING A TROUBLE ABOUT POST-EXAM STRESS, THEN PLEASE READ MY NEXT ARTICLE (PART IV) OR CLICK HERE