With most of the major Banking and MBA exams lined up in the next two to three months, this sure is an important time for all aspirants.
And it’s perfectly normal to feel nervous during such times – it happens to everyone. This nervousness experienced before an exam is commonly known as ‘Exam Anxiety’.
Table of Contents
- So, What is ANXIETY?
- Not All Exam Anxiety Is Bad
So, What is ANXIETY?
It is a normal reaction – apprehension, tension, or uneasiness – to any perceived threat or anticipation of danger. If we believe something important to us is being threatened, and we overestimate the threat, underestimate our ability to cope with it and then we feel anxious.
Exam anxiety often involves apprehensions of performing at levels below those at which we’d like to perform, or even apprehensions of failure.
Some things that increase exam anxiety levels are:
Cramming before the night of the examination and unfinished/ uncovered syllabus are some factors that contribute to rising anxiety levels.
Worrying about the consequences of poor performance in the exam and past performances or comparing yourself with others are the factors that cause exam anxiety.
Apart from the above mentioned reasons excessive intake of caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee can add to the anxiety levels.
Not All Exam Anxiety Is Bad
A certain amount of exam anxiety keeps us energized, motivated and focused.
But too much anxiety, which is often the case, can interfere with exam performance by blocking our thinking abilities and by fostering negative states of mind.
Thus, we have come up with a list of 5 sure-fire ways that will keep a check on those anxiety levels and help you give your 100% on the ‘D-day’.
1. Put things (EXAMS) into perspective
More often than not, we start thinking of exams as a matter of life and death. Exams are most definitely not that!
Refrain from pinning all your hopes onto one test.
These tests may be decisive for your future but only for some time. Know that, in no way are these exams an expression or indicator of your self worth.
Remember that you have to do your best, BUT also remember it is not everything. Even if you don’t do well, you’ll survive and go on to achieve in the future.
2. Overcome the test nerves by expecting nothing but the BEST
The key here is self – confidence and having faith in your preparation. Know that you have prepared to the best of your abilities and rest assured.
Deep breathing can slow down a beating heart or a racing mind, so practise these techniques. The very act of concentrating on breathing and thinking can biometrically alter those anxious feelings.
Replace all the negative thoughts with the positive ones. For instance, instead of thinking about the consequences of poor performance in the exam, think about what will happen once you’ve passed the test with flying colours. Make an effort to tell yourself “I’m a hard worker,” “I’m tough,” “I can do this,” or “Everything will be okay.” That way you can cut negative statements out of your thinking and improve your happiness and mental health.
3. Get proper sleep during your preparation
Most people tend to compromise on their sleeping hours in order to prepare for an upcoming exam.
This practice does more harm than good. Thus, it is important to start preparing well ahead of the exam and plan effectively so as to get the required hours of sleep.
4. Reduce Anxiety by being Physically Active
Stretching, going out for a walk, exercising, meditating, taking regular breaks during studying etc. are some activities that are well known stress busters. They not only distract your mind for sometime, but also rejuvenate it for the next study session.
So, the next time you feel your test nerves getting the better of you, make sure you listen to your favourite song or take your dog out for a walk!
5. Let the mud settle
Here, we will leave you with a short story that speaks volumes about what you need to do to make that exam anxiety go away.
Once, a princess sat by a pool in her palace grounds. As she peered down, her crown slipped from her head and into the pool. She screamed for her attendants to retrieve her precious crown and they leapt into the waters, frantically searching. But all this effort merely brought up mud and debris from the bottom of the pool, making it even harder to find the missing crown.
A man arrived on the scene. He began to tell such a riveting tale of times gone past that everyone stopped searching and relaxed, even the princess. By the time he’d finished, everyone calmed down and the mud from the pool had settled. At that point, the man reached down into the water and retrieved the princess’s crown, which could now clearly be seen.