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Taking exam anxiety head-on
February 7, 2016, 10:23 am

Examination time is one of the most stressful periods for school children, with sleepless nights and mounting tension. Though exam fear is normal, severe anxiety harshly interferes with their ability to take the test.

Anxiety develops due to fear of the unknown, whether it is the sort of questions, the crux of the syllabus, the twist in the questions, expected answers, writing style or sufficiency of time.

Simple changes in ones lifestyle, study habits and thinking pattern can minimise that dreaded exam fear and help one feel calmer and more confident.

What a student needs is a planned schedule, a rigid revision chart, a good combination of diet, exercise, sleep, and positive thinking. Here are a few ways to manage one's anxiety levels:

* The first step is to take the prelims seriously as an indicator of your performance. Preliminary exams are crucial as they are a rehearsal right before the final exam. One’s score in the prelims will give a hint of where one is and the amount of effort required to increase performance. Be neither overconfident with high grades nor depressed with low grades. Have a realistic view of preparedness required and let the efforts match it.

* Follow a stringent time table or routine. Be prepared. Scan through previous question papers and source the expected answers, this can reduce last-minute stress.

* The days before the approaching exam, be watchful on the diet. Eat nutritious and energy boosting foods with a helping of fruits and green leafy vegetables. Sip a lot of water and fresh juices throughout the day. Say a total ‘no’ to fried, spicy and sugary stuff, and avoid caffeinated drinks.

* Regular exercise releases stress and keeps one revitalised and relaxed. Opting for a brisk walk, early morning jog, cycling or practise yoga and meditation can do the trick.

* Lighten up the night before the test. A last-minute revision can help remember facts, but vexing over last-minute studying is likely to cause more anxiety.

* On the day of the exam wake up early. Start the day with a light wholesome breakfast that does not weigh you down or make your feel drowsy. Check to ensure everything is ready and get to the exam hall early.

* During the exam, stay calm, take a good look at the question paper in the first few minutes. If not sure about an answer, do not worry. Write to the point and be conscious of the set time. Do not get distracted, and avoid comparisons of answers. Write sincerely and own up the marks.

* After the tests are over, celebrate. Reward yourself with a break you deserve after all the studying. Go for a picnic, or shopping, cuddle yourself in nature through an adventure ride. Pat your back when you have managed it all, and be affirmative that the results will turn out well. Give in the best and the rest will follow.


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