RaGHuRaM (The Easy are never Good and the Good are never Easy....) 04 April 2012
Tips to Reduce Exam Stress !
Akash a class XII student is under pressure. His neighbour Ramesh got 89% in the same exams a year ago and his parents expect more from him than his neighbour. This is one of the root causes of stress. He is not only the one in that situation.
Every student will find himself in that situation which affects the performance in the exams. Exam period is extremely stressful for many students and some of them are so stressed that they underperform, but this doesn't occur because the lack of their abilities but because they have to cope with high level of exam stress. They are under a pressure of possible failure, or unsuccessful which results in underperformance.
Other causes of Stress:
Lack of Self Confidence: This is probably the most important factors that lead to exam stress. It means the student doesn’t think that his skills are sufficient to pass the exams. This weakness results from the fear of student in his own ability to pass the exam.
"Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started."
---- David Allen
Negative Thinking: Negative thoughts that occur during exams are important factor that causes exam stress. If the student wants to be the very best, a poor performance on a test may be a great fear. If the student spends too much time thinking about how difficult the exam is and worrying about the outcome of the test, this negative approach will increase exam stress.
"How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish."
---- Catherine Pulsifer
Lack of preparation: When students do not feel that they have properly covered the material, they can often get into a testing environment and feelings of nervousness and anxiety will get over them. Rushed, last-minute studying will increase anxiety. Students who do not sleep properly before an exam may also experience higher stress levels.
Competition: This is important factor that can result in exam stress because during that period there is more competition amongst students.
And some other internal and external factors lead to exam stress.
Controlling Stress: Stress is a person’s mental, physical, and emotional response to the rising demands and changes in his life. In very few cases, stress can even be a positive factor when it drives people to the edge by doing their best at a certain task. The problem only arises when stress becomes long-term.
Then how do we control it?
Ways to Control or Minimise Stress:
Develop Self Confidence: Having a high self confidence (over confidence is dangerous) will be a great boost to you and makes you immune to the exam stress. There are times we all feel a little stressed, but it is how your allow yourself to react which will measure your ability to overcome it.
Avoid Negative thinking: Be focused on your goals and stop being concentrated only on problems. You shouldn't think how difficult is the exam, how long is the study literature, how hard it is to acquire all the necessary knowledge or how failure will result in less prosperous future. Start thinking on the positive side of the situation and evaluate what are the advantages of passing the exam not disadvantages of failure. Only by positive thinking and focus on our goals we can reduce the pressure of exam stress and in some cases even prevent it from evolving.
Avoid cramming: Cramming usually involves memorizing material, and in many cases exam pressures will limit your ability to recall memorized information. Taking the time to reflect on your course material and to work on understanding, rather than repeating, important concepts will improve your chances of being able to use what you’ve learned when you need it most.
Be prepared: Students should study well in advance of the test and not wait until the last moment to prepare for an exam. Rushed, last-minute studying will increase anxiety. Students who do not sleep properly before an exam may also experience higher stress levels.
"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
---- William James
Focus on the present and on yourself: Thinking about how you could’ve studied more, how the exam is going to be the hardest one yet, or how a poor performance may affect you negatively can all equally distract you from the task at hand. Instead of worrying about future consequences, pay attention to present details and focus your energy on managing things you can currently control, like relaxing and thinking positively. If your skills are good enough and you are prepared for examination the competition factor will be less important and examination stress at low levels.
"Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life."
---- Marilu Henner
Stick with your routine: Changing your sleep patterns or diet in the days leading up to your exam will take you out of your comfort zone. Even though it’s harder to manage your time during an exam period, try to maintain a productive and healthy routine.
Set aside relaxation time: Include relaxation time in your schedule. This time will allow you to recharge for a moment and you’ll be recharged to study and brain will be fresh. If you begin to feel anxious before or during the exam, use deep breathing relaxation techniques to calm yourself. It worked for me during my CPT.
Don’t try to control the things which are uncontrollable: Many things in life are beyond our control. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.
“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”
"There are thousands of causes for stress, and one antidote to stress is self-expression. That's what happens to me every day. My thoughts get off my chest, down my sleeves and onto my pad."
---- Garson Kanin
“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”
---- Hans Selye
“The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.”
"Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way."
---- Douglas Pagels
Remember, you are mainly responsible for your exam stress. Until you accept responsibility for the role you played in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will always remain outside your control.
Hope this article will be helpful.
BEST OF LUCK
Thanks and Best Regards
Ankur Garg (Company Secretary and Compliance Officer) 04 April 2012
For some students Exam time is the most stressful part of their life. But to be honest this is not a correct thinking or approach. There are certain or simple things which can really help you to avoid last time examination stress. So through this brief write-up an attempt has been made to share some points regarding how to avoid examination stress.
The theme of this write-up is—avoid exam stress through a sound exam preparation because I personally feel that stress at the time of examination is the result of weak preparation and shows lack of self confidence towards the preparation. So some of the points mentioned in this write-up are connected or dealt with good exam preparation. Please find below some of my very simple observations regarding how to avoid the examination stress:
1. Focus on conceptual study
This is one of my all time and permanent suggestion. To avoid examination stress and secure long time professional success it is very essential to focus on conceptual study from the very beginning of your professional journey. Conceptual study is the only way out to deal with any sort of examination.
2. Keep discussing the topics with your friends
Another way out to deal with exam stress is to have a cool chat or exam oriented discussion with your friends and fellow students. This is helpful for you in many ways. Through these kinds of discussions you may clear your doubts and mentally prepare yourself for the battle ahead. Also keep in touch with your teachers for desired advice.
3. Give a complete reading to the course
It is also important to give a complete reading to the course content. Confidently strike off the topic which according to you is irrelevant and never asked in the exams. This point is totally connected with your self confidence and consequently reduces your exam stress. Remember in the exam hall a small hint or 10-20% knowledge is enough to attempt a question. A simple reading or knowledge can be very handy for exam.
4. Spend quality times with your family and friends
One of the best way to handle exam stress is to spend some quality time with your family and friends. I urge you all to consider this point very important to regain the entire consumed energy and enthusiasm. According to me during exam time family and friends are like protein and energy boosters. They provide you the desired strength to fight with exam stress. So after a long study session have a relaxed chat or interaction with your family and friends. I personally feel that this is a solid method to avoid exam stress. Try this…
5. Follow a fixed study plan honestly
As per my personal understanding if you follow a regular study plan from the very beginning, you can easily avoid the exam stress. Exam stress is somewhere connected with your preparation method. If you are satisfied with your preparation then it would be easy for you to say bye-bye to exam stress. So try and understand the importance of this point and prepare and follow a detailed and flexible study plan from the very beginning.
6. Stay away from all negative thoughts
Negative thought or thinking is one of the biggest reasons of exam stress and consequent failure in exam. Without any proper reason avoid thinking that your preparation is bad or you are weak in theory or practical paper. Just go ahead and give your best shot. Do not allow negative thinking and consequent exam stress to distract you and your positive energy.
7. Always focus on good and flexible revision schedule
A good revision during exam time surely relaxed your mind and helps you to avoid unnecessary exam stress. So prepare a special strategy for course revision and prepare special short revision type notes. Plan your revision schedule as early as possible and follow the same honestly and keep reviewing it and make necessary changes as and when necessary. This point helps you to deal with lengthy course and improve your revision strategy. Select easy chapters as per your strength and gain tremendous confidence by practicing more & more questions. After gaining enough confidence remove that chapter from your final revision list. Now there is no need to revise that chapter during final revision and be confident about that chapter. Just follow your revision schedule strictly.
8. Use your previous exam experience
Obviously you are not going to give first exam of your life. So use your experience of previous exams regarding how to handle the exam pressure. Also recall your previous exam success to generate much desired self confidence.
9. Few general observations to avoid exam stress
Some of the general observations to avoid exam stress are as follows:
i.) Stay away from unnecessary examination pressure. Remember exams are just to test your knowledge and should not be treated as a pressure cooker.
ii.) To avoid exam stress always believe in action. Thinking without action will increase your stress and adversely affect your positivity.
iii.) Always make provision for a small break during long study sessions to rejuvenate your energy and strength.
iv.) Slight nervousness is perfectly fine and inevitable during exam time. But excessive stress can be very harmful and block your thinking process. So just be careful.
10. Have faith in your abilities and blessings of your parents
Last but certainly not the least to avoid exam stress or any kind of stress in life it is very important to have faith in your abilities and efforts. Remember nobody is perfect so always ready to improve yourself. Always try your best with utmost sincerity and dedication. I am sure success will follow you. Also give due regards to the expectations of your parents and also remember with their blessings you can deal with any sort of pressure situation.
In the end you all are requested to please share your thoughts about the write up and share your guidance/suggestion to improve my efforts towards the community.
With Warm Regards,
Ankur Garg (Company Secretary and Compliance Officer) 04 April 2012
Thanks a lot Raghu for sharing this wonderful, useful and motivational Article....Please keep sharing.
You are doing Fantastic Job...
Sourav Banerjee MA,MSW (Shabda Bramha) 05 April 2012
Stress is an adverse reaction(s) experienced to too much (or too little) pressure.
The symptoms that affect you will often accumulate until you are forced to take notice of them. It is often the behavioural symptoms that are noticed, as they are more obvious, but by this time stress has been going on for many months, maybe even a year or more.
Source : www.isma.org.uk