How To Overcome Fear During Exams: For decades, examination has been a test of knowledge especially for students in schools and various learning institutions. I is usually accompanied by a grading system, which records grades for each candidate, according to the range of numbers in which their exam score falls within. These grades then determine a student’s performance in school and whether or not they’ll be promoted to a higher class.
There’s often the argument that examination is not the true test of knowledge, but the current practice tilts in another direction. It remains a fact that in most places, the results of examinations is used to determine a student’s academic progress.
This is probably why the mention of examination instills fear and anxiety in a lot of students. This post examines the reasons why people fear examinations, and how one can overcome this fear.
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Why People Fear Examinations
Stressful situations such as examinations can cause one to develop a healing dose of anxiety and fear. It is a natural and totally normal way to react to stress. However, with some people, the fear and anxiety can go over the board and become a cause for concern.
This reaction could be attributed to fear of failure. Sometimes, especially if said student have failed an examination or that particular examination in the past, the fear that such event would repeat itself can be overwhelming. Other people just have an intense fear of failure, perhaps due to some psychological issue. Other people experience this fear because they haven’t adequately prepared for the examination and are afraid of the outcome.
Common to all the causes of examination fear and anxiety is through fear that one would underperform in the said examination. Therefore remedies to this fear would be focused on how to be adequately prepared for every examination and how to keep anxiety in check so it doesn’t escalate.
How To Overcome Fear and Anxiety During Exams
It is well established that anxiety and negativity during examination can hamper overall performance and ability to remember and attempt the assessment tests to the of our abilities. To avoid such occurrences, there are several ways or steps we can take to overcome fear and anxiety due to examinations. Some of them are;
1. Discover Your Learning Style(s): Sometimes people experience test anxiety because they haven’t read enough or otherwise memorised enough for that particular examination. This may not be because said student was slacking and didn’t read as they should, but because despite all efforts, they couldn’t retain what they read.
The first step to resolving this is to figure out your learning style or how you learn best. Some people learn best by listening, others through visuals, yet some others by reading and writing, and so on. Once this is done and applied to how we read, it will become much easier to return knowledge.
2. Preparedness: After figuring out your learning style, the next step is to get prepared. Preparedness in this context, means taking notes, going to classes, reading study materials and assigned textbooks, going for study group meeting and all these activities aimed at getting familiar with the course work and being ready for exams.
3. Start Early: It pays to not just get prepared, but to begin preparations early enough. Students often let their course work pile up until examinations have drawn close, then they try to cram all of it without any form of preamble. Reading this way is anxiety-inducing, because there’s a tendency for one to forget what one has read even in the exam hall. To avoid this, it’s best to start reading early. This way, you only have to revise as examinations draw close and the topics won’t seem so strange and unfamiliar.
4. Read Smart: Sometimes, winnin doesn’t like with he who works hard, but he who works smart. If there’s a way to make studying easier, then there is no reason to do it the hard way. Reading smart is so effective that you could cover the whole coursework faster and even understand it better.
Read a summary of each topic before you begin reading, skim and scan through that chapter first before starting, make use of flashcards, memory palaces, mnemonics, audio recordings, etc. Whatever helps to accelerate the memorization process without altering the information being learnt should be utilized.
5. Stay Fueled: It is very important for students to get enough sleep and eat healthy especially when preparing for an examination. The body is expending so much energy trying to accommodate the bulk of information it is being fed, naturally it should need healthy food to replenish lost fuel.
Also, when you start reading early, there won’t be much of a need to keep numerous sleepless nights unless you read better at night. Whatever happens, ensuring that you get enough quality sleep will leave you in a better state to learn more.
6. Avoid Comparison: It is a recipe for disaster to compare your reading progress with that of other people. It could discourage you especially if these persons are faster learner’s than you are, or if they have covered more of the coursework than you have. In a bid to measure up to them, you could adopt their reading style and techniques which may not be the best for you. It’s best to use methods that work for you and study at your pace. Resist the urge to make such comparisons.
7. Organisation: Make an outline of all that you need to study. Assign topics or courses to each day or every other day that you intend to study. Set a reminder and keep track of your study time for each topic. Track your study progress too. Make notes and do some extra research too. Take study breaks. Once you’ve done all this planning, everything will be easier and look less jumbled.
8. Positivity: Our mental state frequently reflects in our actions and performances, and negativity in this aspect can have damaging effects. Once we begin to doubt our ability to attempt an examination successfully and contemplate failure, it can lead to anxiety, forgetfulness and underperformance in assessment tests. It pays to surround oneself with positivity and constantly contemplate it so that it would reflect well in our overall ability.
9. Stay Physically Fit: Exercise greatly improves the mental processes – the ability to read, assimilate information and process it a lot faster. It also improves sleep and helps with agility. This way you can keep awake when you need to and sleep soundly when you need to. You don’t have to adopt a full workout routine just to take an examination, unless you want to. You only need less complex exercise routines like taking a long walk, jogging, running, dancing, etc. Anything to release the endorphins and kick in the adrenaline.
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10. Accepting The Fear You Experience: Recognize and accept how you’re feeling; it’s normal and OK to feel this way. It’s a terrific place to begin to acknowledge that your fear of failure prevents you from even attempting.
Even while failure is not pleasant, it does not diminish your worth as a person or your ability to be loved. Instead of diverting your attention, try acknowledging the worry you are experiencing. According to research, It may seem more tolerable if you accept and are aware of this sensation.
11. Adjust Your Viewpoint: It’s crucial to not be too harsh on yourself when it comes to managing test stress. Even though we know it’s easier said than done, you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got.
Failure is a horrible thing society has taught us. However, we frequently gain more knowledge from our mistakes than from our accomplishments, and it may be a priceless experience. It might be beneficial to talk about your exam anxiety with a dependable friend or relative. It might be beneficial to vent to one another because it’s probable that some of your student pals are going through similar things. You may communicate verbally as well.
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In conclusion, it is pertinent to note that in the case of excessive anxiety that can only be attributed to psychological reasons or that cannot be corrected by simple practical steps, it is best to see a medical professional.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.