Exam anx­i­ety is brain chem­istry

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - FRONT PAGE -

Prof DC Sharma

An­nual ex­ams are ap­proach­ing. But even be­fore the ac­tual ex­ams, can­di­dates be­gin to worry un­nec­es­sar­ily and ex­ces­sively. They not only fear what to pre­pare, but even ap­pre­hend a ter­ri­ble eval­u­a­tion. Such at­ti­tude orig­i­nates out of their faulty life­style, im­prac­ti­cal study sched­ule, and psy­cho­log­i­cal fear. A skil­ful study man­age­ment can be very help­ful in this di­rec­tion. It is a must to re­duce exam anx­i­ety among stu­dents. They need to know how to do well in the ex­ams.

Take ex­ams as an op­por­tu­nity

To suc­ceed well, an exam must be taken as an op­por­tu­nity. It is truly an op­por­tu­nity to show one’s best. Success in exam comes with open arms when the can­di­date ap­proaches it with bub­bling con­fi­dence. Con­fi­dence comes not only with hard work but with cer­tain strate­gies like reg­u­lar prac­tice, vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, pos­i­tive self talk, and by seek­ing en­cour­ag­ing re­marks from teach­ers, friends and par­ents.

Ex­pec­ta­tion leads to anx­i­ety

Ex­ams anx­i­ety ac­tu­ally re­sults from ex­pect­ing too much, but fear­ing to achieve that tar­get. When one has not planned in ad­vance, then how to click the exam? Stud­ies have re­vealed that there is a link be­tween dopamine and the re­ward cir­cuitry. Dopamine cells sit deep within the brain, in the mid brain, and con­nect­ing there to neu­trons. When a can­di­date has high ex­pectancy, large doses of dopamine are re­leased. But when the can­di­date fears that it is im­pos­si­ble to achieve that tar­get, his level of dopamine falls mak­ing him tense, de­pressed and even anx­ious and pes­simistic.

Be re­laxed

Are you go­ing to ap­pear in a test which is draw­ing near? Do you fear the odd might hap­pen? Worry not! You need to be men­tally pre­pared to do well in the ex­ams. If you have not done your best, start learn­ing the im­por­tant ma­te­rial thor­oughly well now. Or­gan­ise the ma­te­rial in proper and com­pre­hen­sive or­der well in time. Avoid think­ing that you need to cram just be­fore the exam day. Be re­laxed all the time. Re­lax­ation comes eas­ily when you are thor-

oughly re­freshed. That state of your phys­i­cal fit­ness will help you to con­cen­trate well and learn well.

Make your study room a com­fort­able place. There must be good light­ing. There ought to be min­i­mal dis­trac­tions. It is al­ways in your own in­ter­est if you keep com­pany of those who are do­ing their best prepa­ra­tion. Keep­ing the com­pany of time killers and care­less stu­dents won’t help you any way. Do not ever try to cut your sleep short in or­der to learn more dur­ing the night. That will not help you re­fresh your­self thor­oughly. And note it, never to miss your break­fast at any cost. Rather take a king’s break­fast. Those who go to take the ex­ams empty stom­ach feel less fo­cused on writ­ing the exam.

Don't panic in ex­am­i­na­tion hall

There three hours in the ex­am­i­na­tion hall mat­ter the most! When you take the ques­tion pa­per, don’t be emo­tional. Take a few deep breaths. Read the di­rec­tions care­fully. Man­age well your test tak­ing time. Sit in a po­si­tion which vir­tu­ally keeps you in a re­laxed pos­ture. It of­ten hap­pens that some can­di­dates go blank when they take hold of the ques­tion pa­per. But that is just mo­men­tary. Read the ques­tions again sim­ply tak­ing the exam to be easy now. The an­swers will start coming to your mind in a bet­ter form now. But you may again for­get if you panic. Even when you have com­pleted your pa­per, don’t rush to hand over your an­swer sheet. There is no re­ward if you fin­ish first!

Re­lease fear, take it easy

Some stu­dents lose their self con­trol in the ex­am­i­na­tion hall. Ac­tu­ally it all hap­pens due to their worry and ten­sion. There is no need to be tense and anx­ious. Just tak­ing a few deep breaths will make you your nor­mal self. For­get all sense of fear. Solve all ques­tions one by one, with a peace­ful mind, and re­laxed at­ti­tude. Pat your­self on the back that you are do­ing well. That will re­lease more doses of dopamine in your brain. And you are sure to do pretty well then. Never for­get to re­vise what you have at­tempted. This will help you do much bet­ter than you did be­fore. A slip of your pen which would have taken you down­ward can be cor­rected for your over­all ben­e­fit and favour mak­ing you a grand success.

All it needs is a prac­tice

All it needs is a prac­tice to make you suc­ceed well. Even small steps taken in time can­not only help you over­come so many trou­ble­some ob­sta­cles, but will also change your brain chem­istry lead­ing you to success af­ter success. You will your­self re­alise how the mi­nor touches of im­prove­ment here and there can help you land in the plea­sure land of success and tremen­dous vic­tory! Prof Sharma is a Kan­gra-based psy­chol­o­gist and a noted ca­reer ex­pert with more than 40 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence. He can be con­tacted at di­rec­tor.psy­cho­cure@gmail.com or (di­rec­tor.ca­reer­world@gmail.com)

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