Examination Anxiety: One of the biggest issues for students

Examination Anxiety: One of the biggest issues for students

Exam Anxiety

Education gives worth and meaning to the life people live. The core object of educating people was to make them more skilled in living their lives and gain some money to fulfill their basic needs. But in the 21st century meaning of education has completely changed. People are focusing more on marks, rank, and names of prestigious colleges. Education is now more about status, pride, and ego fulfillment.

Students are being overburdened because of the pressure of exams and scores. Parents are ready to sacrifice everything for their children’s good education. They expect their children to study well and gain good marks for a better future. But the irony is, the more effort parents are putting the more it becomes difficult for children to focus on their studies. Why, because they are in the age of enjoyment and pleasure how will they understand the hardships of life, when all their basic need of fulfilled more then it’s needed? Hence most of the students study only for marks as they believe gaining those marks will help them meet the expectations of their parents and give good future. But what they miss is the understanding of the value of knowledge in future life.

Examination as Stress Creator

Little anxiety before an exam leads to good examination performance, but too much anxiety can lead to poor performance in the examination. When students don’t study regularly they feel extremely stressed before exam or just after the exam before getting results. Exam appears like a stress because of poor study habits, not studying on regular basis, low self-esteem, low confidence level, or being harsh on oneself. When this examination Stress becomes very high it can be called examination anxiety.

Also Read: Examination Anxiety, a Myth or Reality?

Examination anxiety

In examination anxiety person can experience a sense of worry, fear of failure, and helplessness. In common words, examination anxiety is about being fearful about examination. While experiencing Examination anxiety person can experience variety of emotions and thoughts which can be divided into 3 sections.

Symptoms of Examination Anxiety

Physical symptoms:

excessive sweating, fainting, dry mouth, nausea, shaking, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting.

Emotional symptoms:

Sense of helplessness, low self-esteem, and anger. People get easily triggered in day-to-day life, such as crying on small things which do not affect them before this situation.

Cognitive and behavioral symptoms:

Forgetting is a normal phenomenon in the learning process. However, people with examination anxiety have a constant fear of forgetting the information they have learned. They keep reading the same information again and again. They also try to skip class or text to avoid examination situations. Sometimes to avoid this negative state of being person can indulge in substance abuse too.

Also Read: How Can You Cope with Your Stress?

Things to do when experiencing examination anxiety:

1. Positive self-talk:

Talk to yourself positively. Change in self-talk can enhance your performance. If you forget to do this, write positive statements in your study area and read it aloud from time to time.

2. Avoid perfectionism:

perfection makes the task more difficult and the person becomes harsher on oneself. Try to understand the concept well and write it in your own words by using the correct terminology.

3. Focus on the present:

Calculate the time you have and make small-step plans that can be met in a day. Each completion of the task will make the syllabus shorter. Focus more on what you can easily understand than being engaged in a complex topic that takes a lot of time.

Also Read: Stress Management Strategies for Young Professionals

Some examination tips:

During a test, people look up for inspiration down in desperation, and left and right for information. To avoid this, follow the examination tips:

Before Exam

  • Set a target and stick to it.
  • Study in 40 minute blocks with 10-minute activity or breaks.
  • Study of 40 minutes to be divided into 35 minutes of learning and 5 minutes of writing whatever you have learned (free recall). Remember, you will get marks on what you write not on how much you have learned. Recall in writing will boost your confidence.
  • Get comfortable with what you will have to do in the exam: Writing answers to be practiced under limited time while sitting at a desk.
  • Don’t focus on getting rid of the anxiety because that will only feed the anxiety.
  • Give equal importance to each subject. If you find any subject difficult don’t be too scared. Do your best in that subject rather than requiring perfection from yourself.
  • Read aloud, this will help you to have better encoding of information.
  • Highlight important points of the chapter with a specific color. This color code will help you to have better recall during the examination.
  • Take deep breaths, as it helps to slow down a beating heart and a racing mind.
  • Keep 15 minutes difference between study and sleep. Sleeping just after a study will affect the recall of information negatively.
  • Sleep for at least 6 hours. Incomplete sleep reduces recall of information.

During Exam

  • Don’t go to an exam with an empty stomach. Avoid high sugar content.
  • Wear a watch to monitor your time.
  • Read the instructions carefully.
  • Budget your test-taking time: Read through the exam in the beginning and figure out how much time to spend on each question, according to what each questions is worth.
  • To build confidence, start with questions you know rather than focusing on the ones you don’t.
  • Start with any multiple-choice or True/False section to gain clues that might help you answer other questions.
  • If you go blank, skip the questions and go on.
  • Don’t panic when other students have completed their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first.
  • Positive self-talk during exams e.g. I am prepared for the exam, I can do well in the exam.
  • Proper revision and highlighting of important points in answers.
  • Reward yourself after the exam. Celebrate that you are on the path of overcoming obstacles and completing your dream.
  • Trust yourself that you know.

Choosing to be positive, makes the biggest difference.

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