How to man­age stress and anx­i­ety in ex­ams

Sunday Tribune - - HERALD -

DUR­ING ex­ams most pupils get too caught up with what ev­ery­one else is do­ing or not do­ing.

One of the most im­por­tant things to avoid is study­ing for ex­ams on the morn­ing of the paper. Cram­ming at the last minute has been proven to cause more doubt and con­fu­sion.

Ide­ally, rise early and be at school in time for your exam.

It’s never good to rush from the time you wake un­til you en­ter the exam room.

The rush re­leases a stress chem­i­cal in your brain called cor­ti­sol. This leads to more stress and more worry.

Also en­sure that you have ad­e­quate sleep as your mem­ory per­for­mance, cog­ni­tive and mo­tor skills (exam prob­lem-solv­ing) de­pend on you hav­ing had enough sleep.

One of the big fac­tors that cre­ates too much stress and anx­i­ety, is worry. What you need to know is that your mem­ory re­sides in your sub­con­scious mind and most peo­ple want to con­sciously ac­cess what is in their sub­con­scious.

This cre­ates worry and doubt, which lead your sys­tem into a fight or flight mode. This is how pupils are sad­dled with men­tal and mem­ory blocks.

An im­por­tant af­fir­ma­tion to use dur­ing ex­ams is: “All I need is within me now.”

This helps ease the worry and anx­i­ety. You must re­lax men­tally, to ease the stress and worry, by con­stantly re­as­sur­ing your mind with pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tions.

How can you al­le­vi­ate the worry and anx­i­ety?

Well, let’s look at sim­ple sci­en­tific re­search. We know when pupils are stressed and wor­ried, it takes up space on their men­tal desks.

This is where the pupil’s fo­cus and at­ten­tion is di­rected and it cre­ates a lot of doubt and stress.

It’s sim­ple to al­le­vi­ate this worry, stress and doubt. All you need to do is write down ev­ery­thing about the exam that has you stressed and wor­ried.

Whether you are con­cerned about not fin­ish­ing as­pects of your stud­ies, afraid that you may not fin­ish on time or you don’t know the re­quired es­says, what­ever it may be, write it down on paper.

Now, what can you do with this piece of paper that in­di­cates all your exam wor­ries and stress?

Well, you can throw it away, burn or tear it up or do all of that. That would help to al­le­vi­ate all the men­tal stress and clear your men­tal desk.

The next thing you must do when pre­par­ing for ex­ams is to cre­ate a quick 30-sec­ond vi­su­al­i­sa­tion of your­self be­ing in the exam room, re­ceiv­ing the ques­tion paper with ev­ery­thing you pre­pared for in there.

You are cool and calm be­cause “all I need is within me now”.

Then pic­ture your­self feel­ing con­fi­dent and smil­ing be­cause you know the an­swers to the ques­tions asked.

Then fast for­ward your vi­su­al­i­sa­tion to the end of ex­ams and re­ceiv­ing your re­port.

All the marks you set out to achieve have been achieved and are re­flected on the re­port.

Hear the com­pli­ments from your par­ents, teach­ers and friends. Feel the feel­ing of re­ceiv­ing your re­sults and all of the pos­i­tive feed­back that floods in.

This will ease your wor­ries, anx­i­ety and stress while, at the same time, you will be­come more con­fi­dent as you get ready to tackle the exam pa­pers.

Smile and stay pos­i­tive. Speak pos­i­tive af­fir­ma­tions and be proactive.

Next week we will go into the ques­tions and dif­fer­ent lev­els of ques­tions.

Bayat is the cre­ator of Ac­cel­er­ated Learn­ing. He is an au­thor, trainer, speaker and coach.

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