February 13, 2023
Among students, March is probably the most dreaded month of the year. It’s the time when there is this gloom and dread of exams everywhere!!
So I thought I’d write this article in February, hoping at least a few cases of exam phobia may be prevented. I strongly believe that a stitch in time saves nine.
I would like to share some strategies to combat exam fear.
First things first, let’s clear this misconception that exams are there to harass you. That’s not true. They are designed to test your knowledge. School exams are designed such that most students should pass easily. So it’s important to read easy stuff first.
Next to note that exams follow a certain pattern. Certain questions and type of questions are asked repeatedly. Prepare them well.
Also don’t forget that you can answer best when you are relaxed. Not when you are shivering in fear!! And how can one keep cool? Of course, by eating healthy, sleeping enough, maintaining hydration and following a healthy routine.
All this is simple stuff. No rocket science.
Look beyond your prejudices and unhealthy competition. You are not going to become the ‘student of the millennium’ if you ace the exam. Nor are you going to be banished from the face of the earth, if you flunk it.
For God’s sake don’t behave as if this is first exam of your life and be certain it won’t be your last either. It’s just one of the many exams in your student career. So chill!!!
Don’t try to impress anyone other than yourself. If you attempt the exam cursing your cousin who is the class topper, or imagining your father screaming his lungs out if you flunked, it’s not going to go well with your fear- factor.
All these headaches, stomach pain and vomiting sensation that you are getting is the end result of bad eating habits, poor sleep schedule and lack of rest playing jeopardy on your weakened nervous system. This will send you to the verge of a nervous breakdown when you can’t answer the first question on the exam paper. Blanking out on the exam paper is the end result of so many poorly made choices resulting in the panic catastrophe.
Prevention is better than cure.
Cool down daily to prevent overheating later!!
Make a schedule. Keep it flexible. Do the most important things first. By most important, meaning most commonly asked. Be practical. Not idealistic.
There is no substitute to working hard and preparing from the syllabus. But focusing on the most important things is the key to success.
Steer clear of people radiating negative energy. “I am going to fail”, “I know nothing”.
Stop comparing yourself with others .Each one to his own. Focus on you and you only.
Reward yourself when you do well and stay focused. Gift yourself a small treat or write yourself a love note. Eg “I rock” “I am awesome - I am on schedule”.
When faced with a big problem, break it into small doable mini-problems. Not the entire large chunk of it! Live and plan for a day at a time. Set short term goals. Trust me, you will feel better.
Don’t let others opinion of you, bother you too much. If someone thinks you can’t do it or that you are lazy or not focused, it’s their opinion and not the ultimate truth of life. Use critical comments to build your character and not weaken it. What you think about yourself is most important. So love yourself dearly. Respect yourself and your capabilities. You will need it.
Last but never the least, believe in God! There is someone watching over you who is there to protect you and look after you. So even when you think it’s the worst possible time, things can work out magically well. Pray daily. Use prayer to strengthen yourself from within.
Exams are the most dreaded for every student and exam season is the worst time of the academic year. But careful planning, adequate rest and positive attitude can make things so much better.
Wishing all students great success in upcoming exams!!!