The word “exams” come with the preconceived notion that it is the most stressful period in a student’s life and many times just the thought of it triggers anxiety. Unlike high school, college life demands a lot more effort in terms of academics: professors are more demanding, the course materials are tougher, and most of the fellow students are self-driven. Also getting accustomed to the new-found independence can be a major set-off. As a result, this leads to higher levels of stress among the students.
In order to eliminate exam stress, it is first important to understand the root cause of it. Some of the common reasons for stress are:
• Reduced motivational levels
• Inadequate exam preparedness
• Apprehension of being evaluated
• Peer-pressure performance
• Expectations from family and friends
• Fear that the future depends on the exam
Summarized below are some eye-opening tips to help reduce those exam jitters. Take note of them as they might be just the thing to face your fears!
A nice hot bath or cooking/baking can be extremely relaxing and help in calming down the nerves. Sipping on something hot like herbal tea or hot chocolate may do the trick too. Avoid caffeine as it may do the opposite of relieving stress. 1. Detoxify-
Classical or ambient music is said to be the best in creating a positive and productive environment which helps boost the mood and encourages you to concentrate and be more aware. 2. Music-
Going for a run or walk helps to clear the mind. This should be followed by a healthy diet. Together they pose to increase productivity and mood-boosters. 3. Exercising and eating right-
It is important not to be stuck to your books 24/7. Catch a movie or go out to dinner with friends or watch your favorite TV show. This helps take your mind off the pressure. 4. Go out and have fun-
It might sound clichéd but it actually helps. Creating a realistic and achievable study schedule helps in keeping you motivated as when you see your learning progress, it will reduce the anxiety. Be flexible and it’s okay to oversleep. Don’t allow that to write the day off. Also, do not forget to include break-time as it is vital to increase concentration levels. 5. Study-planner-
We undervalue the importance of a good night’s sleep. College life takes us away from this but during exams, it is important and highly beneficial to get enough sleep as it helps in retaining new knowledge in the brain for a longer period of time and acts as an advantage on the day of the exam. 6. Sufficient sleep-
Don’t let the negative thoughts get to you, especially the if’s and but’s. For example, “if I fail my exam, what will I do? My life will be over!”, “My professor will have the last laugh as he didn’t seem to happy when I didn’t 7. Believe in yourself- submit my academic assignment .” These kinds of thoughts should be avoided and remember are important but you are much more important than the final outcome.
As weird as it sounds, playing with pets helps in reducing stress and a number of universities have installed “puppy rooms” to help students with elevated anxiety. Popping bubble-wrap is fun and stress-relieving. Try it while on a break or while studying. 8. Puppies and bubble-wrap-
Meditation helps in calming the mind, body, and soul. During a stressful time like the exams, take a few minutes in the day or before the exam to practice it. It will help in focusing better and improve your mental health. 9. Practice saying “OM”-
During a time like this, sometimes all you need is to talk to someone or scream from the top of a building or write a journal. Find the best way to release all your worries or inhibitions about the exam so you can get past it. 10. Shake it off-
With more than 70% of cocoa in it, dark chocolate helps in reducing stress and relaxing the body. Chocolate is also known to have endorphins and acts as a natural stress buster. 11. Dark chocolate therapy-
Create a study checklist which you can tick off as and when you complete it. This helps in making you feel in control and boosts the confidence levels during the exams. 12. Checklist-
Avoid people who appear to be stressed, this will only add to your misery. Especially the ones who are trying to remember a formula or important information before the exams. 13. Stressful environment-
The worst thing you can do after an exam is discussing the exam with your fellow students because you can’t undo the mistakes you might have made and talking about them might only increase your anxiety levels. The focus should be on the next exam. 14. Discussing the exam-
Stress is an inevitable emotion and often floods the mind with negative thoughts or feelings. It is important to use it wisely, instead of letting it get to your head; use it to motivate you to strive to do better. For example, instead of stressing about the exam, let it push you to achieve those rewarding grades.
Do you have an excellent tip for students we have missed here? Do share it with us in the Comments section below: