Exams are stressful for all students, no matter how successful they are. As a rule, students are worried while preparing for an exam and during the exam. Stress is a mental state triggered by complex and unusual conditions, which often occur while preparing and passing the exams.
First of all, you need to prepare for your exam in advance. Leaving it for the last minute will not do you any good. On the contrary, you will have anxiety that you did not have time to study everything even if you have all your tasks done by an essay writing service.
During the preparation, you need to take breaks and switch to other activities. It is okay to be distracted from time to time, but you should avoid procrastinating.
It is better to refuse coffee and tea at this time because those drinks stimulate and exhaust the nervous system. It is important to adhere to a particular daily regime: go to bed on time, eat well and eat regularly.
Coping with Exam Stress
Teachers suggest making notes, charts, and tables. Simple written annotations are less informative in comparison with sketches. Visualized information is better understood because your brain remembers it more easily. As a result, you will be more prepared for your exam.
Before the exam, it is important to have a good night’s sleep. Before going to bed, you can take a soothing warm bath. Try to go to the classroom in good spirits. Just imagine how you will successfully pass the exam and relax.
Write Down Your Stressful Feelings
We believe that this article will help talented people avoid the so-called "jamming" or "looping" thoughts when the sheer size of the workload is demoralizing. Here is what you can do to avoid feeling that way.
According to the journal “Science,” writing down your anxieties before the exam helps you better deal with the stress. As a result, you will score higher on the test.
Scientists claim that the more important the exam, the more nervous you will be. Even though students are most motivated when the stakes are high, it is also a huge emotional burden for them. As the professor Shan Beylock claims, stress can cause lower performance even among the most diligent students.
The beneficial effects of writing down the anxieties and worries have already been proven in a number of other researchers' works, but let’s take a closer look at Beylock’s experimental work. In their new study, Beylock and his colleagues tried to find out what methods could be used to lower students’ stress during important exams.
Beylock’s Experimental Work on Exam Stress and Unexpected Results
The experiment involved 20 students. Each of them had to complete two short Math tests. In the first case, the students were instructed to take the test with no time limit.
For the second test, the scientists told the students that the testing would be recorded on video and shown to the mathematics teachers for evaluation. Half of the participants were given 10 minutes to write about their test anxieties, while the other half had to just wait for the instructors to hand them the task.
According to the results, the second group’s test scores fell due to the psychological stress by 12%. Students who put their anxieties in writing coped with the second test on average 5% better than on the first test.
“A written statement of anxiety and worries during the 10 minutes before the exam gave participants the opportunity to free the mental forces that would otherwise be inevitably bound up with anxious thoughts and concerns," concluded Beylock.
A similar effect was achieved in real conditions with the participation of the students who passed a biology exam. Having tested in advance all the participants in this experiment on their tendency to have concerns about passing an important exam, scientists allowed some of them to describe their anxieties on paper right before the test.
Even taking into account the students’ individual success during the year, the authors of the article were able to reveal a noticeable positive effect through a written exercise. The exercise would allow the students to pass the exam more successfully than their peers who did not write anything about their fears before the test.
Exam Stress Help
There exists some general advice on how to behave before an exam in order to minimize and cope with exam stress. Here are some examples.
1. Exam stress is often accompanied by a lack of appetite. But even if you feel like you don’t want to eat at all, you need to eat at least a little. Otherwise, in a state of stress, there may be a sharp drop in blood sugar and there could be a few symptoms associated with that, such like tremor, profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, and nausea. As a result, the brain will not work at full power.
2. Do not go to the exam with an overcrowded stomach. Breakfast should be light, containing foods rich in protein and carbohydrates. In the morning before the test, it is sound advice to eat yogurt, cheese, eggs, milkshakes, oatmeal, cheese sandwiches or honey, and drink tea with a lemon slice and sugar. It is not necessary to brew yourself a strong coffee. If your nerves are on edge, but you realize that the body needs energy, eat 1 tsp of honey, 2 walnuts, 3 pieces of dried apricots and some yogurt. Bananas, a handful of raisins and a fruit juice cocktail will also help support you during an exam.
3. An extremely effective means of getting rid of exam stress is music. When going to an exam, listen to something energetic. If you love classical music, let it be classical. But it should not be very slow. By the way, Bach's music is very effective to prepare for intense intellectual work. Boy Adams, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi are also an effective de-stressor.
4. You should never take sedatives or sleeping pills. The result may be catastrophic. Frustration and inhibition will not allow you to concentrate!
Before leaving the house, apply a few drops of a lavender essential oil, basil, or mint water. These oils have soothing properties. You can also drop this essential oil on a handkerchief and then, during the exam, periodically inhale its scent.
3. Learn never to think about failure on the exam. On the contrary, it is necessary to mentally draw a picture of a sure, clear result and an inevitable and complete victory. A positive thought goes a long way, and it can lead to positive action: “I will do well on this test, I can do it.”
4. Do not be infected by someone else’s stress. As a rule, looking at your peers trembling in fear is detrimental to your stress management. Get away from those panic-stricken guys.
5. Relieve tension. Remember that you’re just going to take an exam and not fight with a tiger in the jungle! Exam stress is just a part of life for students, so fight it effectively.