How to Effectively Cope with Exam Stress
Destress By Practicing Deep Breathing
Students who are serious about improving their grades or passing in exams often experience stress and performance anxiety.
Even those students who are not very serious in their studies throughout the academic year are stressed before a test because they know their preparation has not been good enough.The best solution for preventing and overcoming this type of test anxiety is to study regularly everyday throughout the academic year.
Meritorious students who also sometimes experience exam stress may relieve themselves with the following tips and suggestions:
When studying intensely or writing an exam paper we tend to hold our breath very tightly and do not follow normal respiratory pattern. This is a physiological effect of stress on our minds.
However, we can overcome this phenomenon easily by breathing in slowly, in a deep and relaxed manner. As a rule, air enters our body through the openings in the nose, without any conscious effort. However, when we tend to concentrate on something very intensely we tend to withhold the exhalation. As a result, there is an accumulation of excess carbon di oxide in our lungs and in the blood.
We can remedy this situation with constant breathing and exhaling with conscious effort.
When you inhale try to draw a long, slow and deep breath while lifting your tongue to the palate and fill in the fresh air to the abdomen, focusing it upon a point a couple inches below the navel. In chi kung breathing this point in the abdomen is called the ''Sea of Dantien'', which holds and channels vital energy of life.
After slow inhalation and concentration of breath at the Sea of Dantien, release the breath slowly in a long and relaxed manner through the mouth (forming an O shape with your lips). Always, sit in a straight and comfortable position, relaxing your arms and shoulders. Don't let the chest expand or contract at any time.
Do this for ten times and your stress will be relieved.Go for a short walk or drink some fruit juice or plain water and then come back for studying.
In an exam hall, obviously you cannot leave the hall, but you can practice deep breathing. While performing deep breaths keep your whole body relaxed, backbone straight, feet firmly on the ground and your mind should be focused on the pleasant relaxing effect of the deep breath. You should visit the site http://chikung-unlimited.com for more details.
What To Do Before The Test
Make sure you get a full night's sleep! Do not stay up late cramming! This is a disastrous mistake, which will rob you of your hard work by causing a good deal of memory loss.
Determine at what time you can study best, focus more upon the subject and then follow your plan of studying. Most importantly follow the tips and suggestions of your teacher about preparing for the test.
If it is possible to arrange it, then plan to have a group study of the subject a few days before the exams so that your doubts are cleared by mutual discussion. If it still does not help then ask for the help of teachers.
Do not eat a heavy meal before the test. If you are hungry before an exam then you can eat a light snack such as fruit, vegetables or a handful of nuts. Drink plenty of water at all times and even during exam days go for light walk in the open or have some light exercise. Lack of exercise affects our mental faculties too.
Banish neurotic thoughts and self-created limitations from your mind. Thoughts like ''I have to succeed in this competitive exam or else my life is ruined'' or, ''I am not a good student/learner, hence I cannot perform well in this test'', or, '' the question paper or marking/grading will be very tough''. This type of attitude will only make things worse, creating more stress for you.
Instead, to overcome test anxiety, focus on positive thoughts, pleasant things in life and take firm action. Like, ''I am going to study and perform to the best of my capacity. There is a great chance of success. I have become a good student now. Etc.''
Perform Better During the Test
Before going to take an important exam, always briefly revise the main points of the subject.
Dress comfortably, be on time for the exam and talk to other students before the test. Conversation helps relieve our anxiety.
While writing answers for your questions always answer the easy questions first and come back to the difficult ones later. This will also relieve you of stress because you will be confident that at least you will pass the exam easily.
Avoid all distractions and calmly focus upon the questions, take one-minute breaks after every fifteen to twenty minutes to relax your mind and then revert back to the test paper. During this one minute break you can practice deep breathing and long, slow exhalation. Also blink your eyes a few times.
If your questions require you to write subjective and detailed answers then always plan your answer based upon the specific question and then attempt to answer as best as you can.
By practicing the above techniques and suggestions for overcoming test anxiety, you will learn to cope with exam stress effectively throughout your years of academic study.