Did you get anxious before taking a simple test? Did your mind freeze or brain go blank during an exam? Well, most of us do get exam anxiety and are somewhat helpful for better performance but you will be needed to get over your exam anxiety to get better grades or performance.
Firstly, let’s understand exam anxiety, and later on, we could ponder upon the ways to calm your nerves.
What is exam anxiety?
A feeling of intense fear or panic one experiences before, and/or during taking a test or an exam is exam anxiety.
Exams can be stressful for students. While some amount of stress can help perform but beyond that point can be harmful and affect students’ mental health.
Two types of anxiety
There are two types of anxiety:
- Low anxiety: People who experience low anxiety may feel little fear or nervousness before an exam but they are still, or even in some cases better, able to focus on their studies and during the exam.
- High anxiety: People who experience high anxiety may respond to an exam in a different way than other people. They try to skip the exam, run away from the situation, or say things like, “I am not able to do this!” Some of the physical responses are speeding heartbeat, damp hands.
People respond in different ways during an exam based on their anxiety. Research shows that managing and being able to control your anxiety can lead to better exam performance.
Ways to get over exam anxiety
If you could identify the type of anxiety you are feeling, then you could be able to cope up with that anxiety.
One of the simplest ways to know if you have just normal exam anxiety or extreme is to recognize the level of anxiety. When your anxiety has increased to an optimal level and is affecting your performance then you might need to calm your nerves as this is high anxiety.
Here are some ways that might help you reduce your exam anxiety:
- Start studying early: One of the ways to cope up with your anxiety can be to be fully prepared. With fully prepared, I mean to invest some time in studies every day before the exam than to stressing and cramming all the syllabus in a single night. If you are fully prepared for your exam, chances of being exam anxious can be way lesser than not studying every day.
- Take a pretest or a mock test: Once you are done with your learning, try to take a pretest to help your brain to be familiar with the situation of a test. When you are taking a mock/pretest, firstly you are getting to know about the areas where you lack and where you have excelled which in a way helps you in exam performance. Secondly, you are training as well as adapting your brain to the exam surroundings and situations. So, you are prepared for your exam mentally as well as emotionally.
- Maintain good health and lifestyle: Don’t forget to eat, sleep, drink, and exercise while you are preparing for your exam. In most cases, students tend to sleep less to study more. But that gives an opposite reaction, if you are not getting plenty of sleep, by plenty I mean around seven hours of sleep, then your brain can not properly function and will not be able to retain more. And it applies to the rest of the things also such as eating, exercising, and drinking.
- Relaxation techniques: To calm your nerves, before or during an exam you may do a few relaxation techniques. Some of the relaxation techniques include deep breathing, relaxing your muscles, meditating. Try closing your eyes and try to imagine a positive scenario, this could help you calm down and focus yourself on the exam.
Try to do the above-mentioned ways to calm your nerves down and to get over your exam anxiety. If you still could not get over your exam anxiety, then try contacting psychologists, professional counsellors, or specified doctors. I hope this article helped you in getting over exam anxiety.