Overcoming exam anxiety

Preparing for your exams can put you under pressure and clouded with worry. But anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. A little stress and anxiety before an exam can help you be alert and perform at your best. However, if you’re stressed beyond your ability to prepare and write your exam, you might want to consider these techniques to overcome your exam anxiety.

Know your triggers

Exam anxiety is that intense feeling of fear or panic moments before or during your exam. This can be triggered by the realisation that your exam is actually important, or that you didn’t prepare well. When you know your triggers, you can prepare yourself against them. 

Get organized 

When you organise your work, you’re also organising your mind. You can try to set up a timetable that works well for you. Make sure you know exactly what you need to study. If you don’t, then ask your educators ahead of time so you can have all the resources you need to study.

Mindfulness and breathing exercises 

Anxious thoughts focus on negative future possibilities. But when you practise mindfulness exercises (like meditating) you shift your focus from your worry and fear to the tasks at hand. Breathing exercises also help you regulate your oxygen intake, which will allow you to think more clearly and pace yourself.

Self-care is good care

I know trying to get 8 hours of sleep can be hard, especially when it’s almost exam time but try to get enough hours of sleep every day. Even though some people prefer to “cross-night” (studying throughout the night), it’s actually not a good idea to study through the night because you’re not allowing your brain an opportunity to make sense of the information you studied.  

Consider adopting self-care habits like drinking water instead of coffee and energy drinks or actually getting enough rest before your exam.  

Get help 

A problem shared is half-solved. Most students experience anxiety and stress during exams, so you don’t have to feel ashamed. If you really cannot cope, you can tell your educators and ask for help or talk to a trained professional.

Even though exams are important don’t put yourself under so much pressure. Try and apply these techniques, and remember the most important thing is that you’re able to prepare and write your exams.

Which exam stress-busting techniques are you going to practise? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section.

Remember, if you or a friend need help and advice, contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).