A little stress during examination time can be a good thing, it inspires you to put in hard work. However, stress levels can often get out of hand, specifically at the end of an academic year.
What is stress?
It is the body’s natural defence towards predators and danger. It flushes the body with hormones to prepares systems to confront or evade danger. This is identified as the “fight-or-flight” mechanism.
Being in a state of stress can be noticed through many changes, including changes to the body such as; blood pressure rises, breathing faster, digestive system slows down, muscles become tense and a lack of sleep.
There are also emotional and behavioural indications of stress. Emotional indicators include; anger, anxiety, burnout, lack of concentration, depression, nail-biting, sadness and many other facets. Some behavioural fluxes may be food cravings (eating too much or too little), drug and alcohol abuse, social withdrawal and crying.
The examination period for a student may cause Acute stress. This is short-term stress and is the most common way that stress occurs. Acute stress is usually caused by thinking about the pressure of an event that has recently occurred or is an upcoming demand in the near future. For example, an examination period is a temporary event where students need to be in a clear and focused frame of mind but also put in an immense amount of hard work and effort into doing well.
What can you do?
The first step is to establish a plan of action by well organising and preparing your time and workloads. This will help the “out-of-control feeling”. The second step is to start to understand the physiological responses occurring in your body and try to adjust them.
There are 21 tips to minimize or eradicate examination stress.
Prior to the exam:
- Study in conditions similar to your test room
- Make use of past exam papers for revision
- Manage your study time wisely by having a work plan to guide you on what to study and how much time you have on it
- Start a study group
- Use flow charts and diagrams
- Take frequent breaks
- Stay hydrated
- Reward yourself for your study time, for example, studying for 3 hours the talking an hour to watch your favourite show
- Eat healthy foods
- Get enough sleep
On the exam day:
- Arrive early for your exam to avoid rushing
- Read instructions carefully
- Recognize test anxiety
- Remember to breathe
- Stretch your muscles
- Review all your answers when complete
- Don’t think about it
- Take time off
- Treat it as a learning experience
- Treat yourself to something nice
In conclusion, dealing with stress is very imperative, particularly exam stress. For students’ exams are a crucial part of their education. It is important to approach these exams with a clear mind and comprehension of how to deal with stressful situations more broadly. Exam stress is all in one’s mind. Mental discipline is a large facet of what is required to succeed.
Keep Calm and Study Hard