If there’s one part of being a student that not a lot of individuals look forward to, it’s none other than taking an exam. Whether it’s a short quiz or your final exams, just the mere thought of having to answer questions is enough to stress most people out. This is especially true if you will come ill-prepared for the examination. Here, we will take a look at the symptoms of examination anxiety and what can be done to alleviate it.
What is Examination Anxiety?
If you think that you’re the only one who panics at the thought of answering a series of questions, don’t fret. About 20 to 30% of American students and the majority of students around the world experience some form of examination anxiety (in Denmark that's called behandle angst). There are basically two ways that this type of anxiety can be felt:
Even if you come fully prepared for the exam, that time just before you are about to sit down and start the test could make you feel a certain sense of anxiety. This has several physical and emotional manifestations including rapid heartbeat, shaking hands, shortness of breath, dry mouth or even fainting spells.
This is a phenomenon known as “mental block” wherein it seems as if everything that you studied during your reviews is gone in a flash. When you feel utmost anxiety during the exam, you will not be able to focus on the task of answering the questions. Your reading comprehension might even be lowered so your performance in the exam will be affected.
There are plenty of reasons why students suffer from examination anxiety. Fear of failure, not preparing enough before the test, feeling as if you don’t measure up against other students who you consider your direct competitors – these are some of the reasons why you would feel such unexplainable anxiety prior to taking an exam.
Tips for Getting Rid of Examination Anxiety
Now, what are you supposed to do about it? If you are suffering from examination anxiety prior to or during an exam, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
If you are studying for your finals, make sure to prepare for it at least a week before the date of your exam. You cannot possibly cram a few weeks’ worth of knowledge into one night of studying, so grab the opportunity to read as much material as you can during your spare time.
Aside from not cramming, there are other ways in which you can fully prepare for a test. Organize your notes and read your books. Have a personal method of studying for a test, be it memorization, using acronyms as codes or answering practice questions. Just do all these ahead of time so that you will not panic on the exam day itself.
Be well-rested and eat heartily prior to the exam. Arrive at the examination area with plenty of time to spare so that you can calm your nerves. Once you feel the nerves starting to act up, perform some breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Finally, take the route of positive thinking and tell yourself that you are 100% prepared for the exam, so you should be able to take it and expect excellent results.