To all students: How to handle stress situations particularly of exams

How to deal with exam stress

Exams are an important part of a student’s life. People who have a different view towards the education system say, that they are not necessary.

However, I believe what is necessary are exams but what is not necessary is the exam pressure.

Exams were created to test an individual’s knowledge, skills, and ability for a suitable position being offered by an organization.

Think it from the perspective of an organization, put yourself in a recruiter’s shoes; if you’re given the job of selecting candidates for a particular role given the condition that not more than 3 positions are open for it, how will you recruit the most suitable, deserving candidates for the role?

If you publish about the role in the newspaper there will be countless persons standing in front of your office applying for the job and each will come to your desk requesting you to consider him/her for it because he/she is right for the job.

You will immediately get a headache listening to the same & same & same qualities in each individual who talks to you. To facilitate the selection of the right candidate, tests and exams were created.

If you check the history of exams then it dates back to 605 AD to the land of Ancient China. It held a nationwide standardized test for the first time ever to select specific positions offered by the government. This test was known as the imperial examination and was introduced by Sui dynasty.

England was the second country to adapt the concept of imperial examinations in the 18th century to select suitable individuals for civil services. This concept then started spreading to other parts of the world and eventually, became a core part of the educational system.

History of the education: Source Wikipedia

The famous exam stress

The purpose of tests is there to choose the best for the organization or when it comes to education, the purpose is to make students read what all was taught in the class during the entire session such that they acquire the knowledge residing in the textbooks, this states that the motive behind taking tests and exams is valuable and visionary.

But, with anything good that comes in this world or adapted by the world there come cons. Exams bring situations of stress for students.

The exam stress has even proven fatal for students in the past. Even, there has been so much research and studies on tackling the high stress situations of exams the issue of examination stress on students yet remain unsolved and peak again in the minds days before exams.

The exam stress is natural, awareness is necessary

High stress situations are very much natural. Ability to take stress is one thing that our superb minds have been manufactured with. This implies that exam stress is also very natural.

Yes, the proportion of exam stress is different in different individuals.

Some students who are very confident from the start, exam stress occurs very less to them, in fact there is always a separate category of students who do not study at all throughout the year and no exam stress happens to them.

Mostly, the students who study who have studied each and every chapter of their textbooks, covered each and every question at the end of each chapter and even revised all of them are those where the highest proportion of exam stress pegs its tent.

The good part

Students with stress are often advised not to take it. However, there is one positive side to it which each student should be aware of.

It is if the exam stress happens to you then you care about yourself.

You care about your future, you want your future to be bright which is an amazing thing and it is for sure that you’ll succeed even if the roads ahead are thorny and bumpy.

Stress is a natural phenomenon and rather than advising a student going through exam stress not take it we must advise him/her the ways to reduce examination stress.

All the negativity, stress, tension can’t be ignored or simply can’t be avoided, because there are trillions of thoughts which run through our mind in an hour. However, the stress situations can surely be tackled and we all must know the ways to overcome exam stress.

If you’re a student then this article if for you but if you’re not one then also this article is for you because you can surely advise a student on the ways to reduce examination stress and give the best possible performance in the examination.

So, here are 10 ways to reduce examination stress listed below -

1. Yoga

The best cure of stress and tension be it exam stress or any other type of stress is Yoga.

Practicing yoga at least 5 days a week have helped people remain calm and composed in even high stress situations.

Yoga is always recommended to students with stress in their minds all the time. However, don’t expect wonder if you’re planning to practice Yoga just 5 days before the exam date or during the course of the examination.

Practice it with enough time in your hands to let the positive effects of it take over your mind.

2. Long Breaths

Usually, students get a stress attack just before entering the exam hall or at the gate of the exam venue. At this moment, everything seems staggering, everything is shaken.

What can move you out of this exam stress attack is your own breath.

Taking long breaths has been found as the most effective way to deal with situations of stress and can bring your head to a positive level which is the ideal mindset before writing the exam.

3. Motivational music

The nemesis of stress is motivation. When a student is motivated, he/she gets very little stress.

During the days of exam preparation, it is advisable to listen to light music or motivational music. Make an exam playlist in your phone, adding all the motivational songs you like to listen and in your study breaks, you can put that playlist on. The changes will be visible to you gradually.

4. Affirmations

I have used a word ‘high stress situations’ in this article a lot of times. It means there are worse levels of stress than exam stress. Musicians often face high stress 5 minutes before their concerts.

The stress level is so high that legs don’t move even when all the vitals seem normal. In this case what relieves them is ‘affirmations’.

They constantly say to themselves things like ‘ I am the best musician’, ‘ I am not stressed’, ‘I am a winner’, ‘I am going to go out there and rock the environment with my songs’.

These phrases which are constantly told to calm the mind down and instill confidence are called affirmations.

When in exam stress you can say following phrases to yourself –

a) Exams are just to test my knowledge and nothing else.

b) There is nothing formidable about exams.

c) I am a winner and I will score well in exams.

d) Most of the questions are going to be asked from the syllabus which I have covered

5. Talk to a friend/Counsellor

It’s always good to phone a friend and talk about how you’re feeling with him/her. However, make sure that you trust the person you’re calling because it also can have a significant adverse effects on you.

Everyone has a best friend who always supports your decisions and show you the true picture in a right way.

Keep the number of that friend of yours on speed dial and hit it to kill exam stress.

Well, if you feel your stress is unmanageable then for sure you can visit a counsellor.

6. Running

One of the best answers to how to handle stress situations is Running.

When you’re under exam stress, just put on your sports shoes, and go for a run.

Running greatly reduces exam stress, not just exam stress but any type of stress. Running/ exercise releases a chemical in mind which acts as a medicine to stress.

So, the next time you see exams coming, keep your running shoes ready.

7. Watch a movie

During my engineering days, there used to be a very tough subject ‘digital electronics and microprocessor’, we all were afraid of it and it fell as the third one in our semester exams.

After I wrote my second test and came home, I was stressed because the next test was of the toughest subject of the semester.

That night a relative of mine suggested me to watch a movie before I slept. There were 3 days left for preparation so I could afford to watch a movie. Reluctantly, I took the advice and watched a movie of comedy genre in the night and guess what! It helped.

I got the mental strength to read, study and right the exam. I am not bragging, but I scored well in that subject.

Watching a movie kills stress. It may take some time to adjust to watching it during stress situations but eventually, you get jammed in it and it does its job.

8. Computer Games

Games have the ability to pull you in their world. If you’re playing a batman game, you become batman and start completing your missions without thinking about exams.

Video games are a great way to handle stressful situations. Playing games diverts your mind and helps you lose stress.

However, while playing games especially during exam preparation time, it is extremely important to watch the clock regularly as you can get stuck into playing it for hours.

9. Sports

If you play Cricket do not leave it just because you’ve exam tomorrow, if you’re a soccer player make sure you go and play soccer for at least half an hour.

Sports activities are very necessary when you’re studying round the clock. An hour spent in the cricket field with you hitting a couple of sixes in the mid-wicket and cover drive can reduce exam stress to significantly low levels.

10. Sitting at the beach

I think that living in a coastal city is a boon. You can anytime go and sit at the beach and let the sea breeze ruffle your hair.

This process feels like a spiritual one as it instantly soothes you taking your worries, tensions far far away.

So, if your town or city has got a beach then do get there, sit there, walk in the shallow waters being shoved up the beach by the sea waves, it will have a calming effect on your mind.

In case there is no beach in your city, find a cool garden where you can sit between trees and plants so that your mind gets oxygen in abundance to feel fresh and relieved.

It is vital to realize that tests and exams are just there to test your knowledge and nothing else. Pressure created by the society, relatives, friends and peers put students on a different track altogether where the motive is to just score well in exams rather than gaining knowledge and developing skills.

This realization may take time and think over it once the next semester or final examinations are over till then follow the above 10 ways to reduce examination stress and live a better life.

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Posted on : 11/25/2019
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