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Causes of exam stress
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Goodbye Exam Stress – Causes of Exam Stress

“I swear on the God, next time I will start my preparation, a month prior to exam dates”

Some students are just exam persons – they have no distress getting their heads down to brush up and seem to fly without blinking their eye. But for many others examination can be extremely stressful. Even the word examination may leave them in apprehensions. The exam is stressful but certainly not the worst thing that could happen to you. Parents make it difficult, but friends don’t make it any easier either. To avoid this anxiety, it is crucial that we deal with exams with a clearer mindset.

Signs of exam stress:

Causes of exam stress are:

  • Inadequate or last minute preparation
  • High expectations
  • Pressure from Teachers and Parents
  • A feeling of competition with others
  • Fear of failing
  • Feeling less prepared
  • Self-induced pressure: There is a belief that grows in the minds of the children that they are required to perform well consistently in order to be judged as a good student.
  • Sole bread earner: Not everybody is on the same page when it comes to financial holdings. Students who work part-time and are also studying simultaneously fall prey to this stress.

WAYS TO COMBAT: Do’s &Don’ts

Designate an area for studying: A table is meant for studying. The bed for sleeping. An uncluttered table without your phone, laptop, and other distractions is the right approach. Lying on your bed or on the sofa in front of the TV will not only damage your posture but will hamper concentration too, so find a comfortable table and chair you can work on.

Take Breaks: Breaks are important. There is only that much that you can retain at a stretch. Take a short break every 45 mins. It’s a good idea to leave the room at this time and take a break of 15 mins. During the break avoid watching a TV serial, movie, stay away from gadgets, etc rather than drink water, grab a snack, wash your face, freshen up yourself, take a hot refreshing bath, etc.

Concentration exercises: It’s very important to be focused while you are learning or revising, and to be focused you need much concentration. To keep your concentration upright, you can do small activities like Deep breathing, Striking of all ‘e’ from a paragraph, focus on a single instrument while listening to a song, highlight important points while skimming, use flow charts and mnemonics and other graphic aids to remember better. If you have ever felt that you have forgotten what you learned yesterday, revise on 1-2-7-15-30 these days to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Right Sleep: Sleepless nights for many can leave you feeling tired and low in energy. Set yourself a definite time to go to bed and stick to it no matter what. Sleep for 7-9 hours.

No caffeine. No smoking. It’s a myth that they help.

Don’t talk about the subject or the paper with your friends while meeting them on the day of the exam. Don’t try to read at the last moment. Once you have the paper, read only the first question. If you know it- perfect, if not move further. Divide your time based on each question.

Give yourself some time to relax before you start to study for the next exam.

Remember: It’s not a race. Don’t look at the supplementary sheets others take. Don’t keep looking at the clock. You don’t need to be the first one to finish. And once the paper is done, it’s finished. So no discussion about the paper and no analysis.

Don’t rely on cheating to get you the marks you want. It will leave you feeling bad and in later life, the information you should have learned could be important. So be honest with yourself.

Aastha Dhingra
Assistant Professor
Department of Clinical Psychology
Faculty of Behavioural Sciences
SGT University, Gurugram

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