World Mental Health Day 2022: Exam anxiety is pretty typical and can range from little annoyance to crippling dread that negatively affects performance, mental health, and overall wellness. Contrary to popular belief, students of all ages can feel test anxiety.
Anxiety related to academics, examinations, and outcomes was expressed by 81% of students in a recent NCERT nationwide survey. While certain anxiety, often known as “eustress,” can actually improve performance, for some kids it can become so overpowering that it impairs both performance and general mental health.
A few typical symptoms of test anxiety include trouble sleeping, irritability, mood fluctuations, low appetite or comfort eating, increased coffee intake, smoking, or alcohol usage. Physical symptoms like as palpitations, perspiration, headaches, nausea, and vomiting are also possible. Before results are announced, students experience excruciating anxiety, especially when there are great expectations. This can lead to suicide thoughts and withdrawal.
If you’re a student, keep in mind that you may develop your resilience, i.e., recognise your inner talents and skills, to better manage and flourish under the typical stresses of life. This will also improve your general well-being. Keep in mind the following:
Begin Early: Create a strategy, set goals, and have faith in your ability to reach them.
Even if everyone has advised you to arrange your studying, you must start early. It must include time for changes and investigation. Setting your long-term goal is vital, but so is breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks that will make you feel successful. The second thing to keep in mind is that objectives need to be wise; they need to be attainable and time-bound. Decide when to start studying and when to perform self-study, and make sure to schedule time for revisions. Create notes using highlights. If you find that you only have a short amount of time to prepare, alter your objectives and goals. Start with the chapters that are most important and prioritise your stronger themes.
No matter how many people have advised you to organise your studying, you must start early. It has to account for study and revision time. It’s vital to set long-term objectives, but it’s just as crucial to divide them into smaller, more manageable tasks that can help you feel successful. The second thing to keep in mind is that objectives must be sensible; they must be time- and realistically-bound. Decide on a time to begin your preparations, a time for self-study, and a time for revisions. Get your underlined notes ready. If you find that you only have a short amount of time to prepare, alter your objectives and strategies. Take note of the marking scheme, begin with the most important chapters, and give your strongest concepts precedence.
Prepare yourself for anxiety by anticipating it and learning how to control your feelings.
As the big day approaches, anxiety related to exams frequently gets worse. It is beneficial to be aware of your emotions and learn coping mechanisms for challenging ones so that they don’t overwhelm you and prevent you from achieving your objectives.
Time compartmentalization is one useful suggestion. Establish a “worry time” if you struggle to put your worries aside when studying. Tell yourself to put off worried thoughts until “worry time” whenever they distract you from studying. By doing this, you make the most of your study time and refocus on achieving your objectives.
Mediate and work on remaining composed.
Learn techniques for relaxing your body and mind. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep, timed breathing, relaxing your muscles, and visualising a happy conclusion, are some helpful strategies. The practise of mindfulness is incredibly beneficial for managing anxiety.
Learn to manage your negative thoughts: anxiousness before exams is frequently accompanied by worries about failing, receiving poor grades, etc. Consider your advantages rather than allowing a downward spiral to take hold of you. Recognize your inner strengths so you may use them to your advantage in the test. You can say, for instance, that your strength is Persistence or Creativity. Think about how your greatest strength can assist you in examinations while closing your eyes.
Ensure proper hydration and rest.
How we feel influences what we do, and this is true for both our mental and physical health. We may overeat or sleep poorly as a result of anxiety. Consistent energy and hydration are ensured by eating regular, balanced meals and drinking enough of water. Avoid soda, sugary drinks, and caffeinated or energy drinks since these might make you feel more anxious. Try to keep up a regular workout schedule. Consistently getting enough sleep improves learning, memory, and cognition.
Talk it out and identify your network of allies
We often hold back on sharing. Discovering the members of your supporting network is a straightforward advice. It’s important to talk to someone and express our sentiments to our parents, classmates, and instructors since doing so releases mental tension and makes room for positive ideas. By setting objectives together, working on revisions, taking practise exams together, and encouraging one another, peer support will force us to assist one another.
But keep in mind that going to a counsellor or psychologist could be helpful if you have attempted to control your anxiety on your own and/or with support from adults or peers but are still unable to do so.