Are you the type of person that gets insanely stressed out before a big exam?
Maybe you feel like no matter how much you study, the results of the exam are completely out of your control, and you find yourself thinking irrational thoughts like, “If I don’t get 100 percent on this exam, my life is completely over.”
If this sounds like you, don’t feel ridiculous. A lot of students deal with serious exam anxiety. In fact, it is estimated that test anxiety can affect anywhere between 10 to 40 percent of students.
But, the good news is you don’t have to suffer through this anxiety every time a big exam comes up. There are ways you can manage your stress. Read on to learn the top 4!
1. Don’t Cram
Oftentimes, those with bad exam anxiety only exacerbate the issue by being unorganized for their exams.
So, as soon as you no that exam is around the corner, it’s time to start prepping.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to study. Trying to cram in a bunch of material in a short period of time will only make your anxiety worse. Therefore, aim to study for intervals of about 50 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between.
2. Actively Challenge Your Irrational Thoughts
Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are and how well you know the material, your irrational thoughts get in the way and bring you down.
To stop your irrational thoughts from taking over, it’s time to start challenging them. Every time you think something irrational like, “I’m going to fail think is exam and ruin my life,” stop yourself and challenge it with a positive affirmation.
For example, think to yourself, “Regardless of what happens on this exam, my life will always be worth living.”
However, if these positive thoughts are not working and you feel like you want to die, it may be time to seek professional help.
3. Get Active
Oftentimes, the period leading up to an exam can cause a major dip in one’s physical health.
Late nights without sleep, substituting junk food for real meals, and not getting any fresh air can quickly take a toll on one’s health, causing anxiety levels to spiral out of control.
Therefore, it’s important to make sure you’re getting in some physical activity for the benefit of both your mental health and physical health.
Adding a daily activity to your study schedule, like running, can make you feel like you’re sweating out your anxiety while re-energizing yourself for your next study session.
4. Do Some Exam Taking Prep
For some people, it’s not the material itself that causes exam anxiety, but rather everything else surrounding it.
So, make sure you take some time to do some exam taking preparation.
To calm anxiety and make sure you get enough sleep, drink coffee the day of the exam, but not the night before. Talk to your instructor or tutor about what course materials to focus on for studying and asks for any study guides or practice exams that may be helpful.
Also, make sure you’re familiar with the test location. Knowing where it is, how to get there, and arriving early can all be beneficial in quelling your anxiety.