How to Deal With Exam Stress
Exams are just to assess your preparation. So just relax, it is not the end of the world if you do not fare well in them. First and most important is your preparation before exam is to make sure you have prepared well and know the important topics well. On the day of the exam, completely avoid last minute mugging and stressing. You should have a good sleep of minimum 8 hours the previous night. The steps important for having a relaxed mind during exam are
Organize. Make sure you have all the things necessary for the exam: your stationery, your identity ticket, your watch etc. Last-minute searching for things can stress your mind further and create panic during the exam which can be disastrous.
Diet. Before you go to the exam, eat foods that are energy producing and at the same time not too heavy on your stomach that make you sleepy in the examination hall. Never go in on an empty stomach as you can end up concentrating more on your hunger than your exam paper. Fruits and proteins are good source of energy. Avoid intake of heavy carbohydrates like rice and potatoes which will make you sleepy. If possible carry a water bottle to the exam hall to rehydrate.
Relax. One hour before the exam, relax!! Don’t stress yourself feeding more information to your already worked-up brain. Whatever you have learned, be confident of it and try to picture a calm stream, or take some deep breaths. You have done your preparation and now you should prepare yourself to give your best. A tired mind will do no good, so it is necessary to go into the hall with a refreshed mind. You have worked hard for it and nobody can take away your hard work. What you give always comes back to you. Remember this nature’s law. If you not prepared well, let your mind accept the fact. It is not possible to go unprepared and expect no stress and good results. Instead of trying to revise that very last point you forgot to learn, try and briefly go over the different topics in your head so that way you keep an organised and open mind without putting pressure on yourself to learn that other point. The chances are you’ll only remember what you learned just before the exam and panic with the other parts.
Plan. Once you get the question paper in your hand, read all the questions and make a quick rough plan how you are going to invest your time for doing your best. Mark the questions which you know the best and attempt them first. In this manner, you will increase your confidence further. Appreciate yourself for remembering the solutions and answers; your brain will work better. Never curse yourself if you forgot or didn’t study something which you thought about studying. Remember it is too late now, and that your focus should be on the present moment.
Cross-check. It is very, very important to check your answers again in the end. The last 15 minutes should be to review your paper. Recheck every answer with patience and you will be surprised by how many careless faults you come across. Make the necessary corrections.
Forget. Most of the time after the exam is over, we worry about the results or waste time discussing what our friends have written. Realize that the time to do something about the results passed when you handed the answer sheet to the examiner. Knowing how your friend did on the paper will only add more worry. Chances are that even the friend who told you he did not do well would have lied to you. Accept that everybody tries their best in the exams. Regardless, you are losing your time and peace of mind trying to know what others did or spending energy on worrying which is already past. Concentrate on how you will face your next exam or how you are going to spend your time efficiently.