can have a huge impact on your future. How can you
Guide to exam stress: how to gain calmness
There is a lot of pressure on doing well at exams. The results can determine where you work and what you do for the rest of your life. That combined with comparing how you compare to friends and the expectations of your family. No pressure eh?
The funny thing is the more stressed you are less well you are likely to do in your exams.
What is exam stress?
This type of stress is more common in younger people. This is because their education revolves around passing exams to get to the next stage of their journey. Often, this constant need to succeed can become overwhelming for students. Sadly, it can have a massive impact on their performance if there are no steps and guidance to help the student manage their exam stress.
Stress is your brain and body’s method of letting you know there’s a problem or issue that needs attention. When it comes to exam stress, the issue is the pressure surrounding educational testing.
If we don’t take steps to address the issue, all the stress can build up and up until things become so overwhelming that our brain needs a break. Without this break, you may not be able to think properly or have any energy left to keep studying.
The first step to getting a handle on exam stress is to recognise that stress itself isn’t the enemy.
Types of exam stress
- When others expect you to ace that exam, you put more pressure on yourself than you should. This tension may also occur when others around you are stressed, and you pick up on it subconsciously. When classmates discuss a forthcoming exam and express their concerns about not being prepared, for example.
- Their anxiety may cause you to become concerned about your preparedness, causing you to get anxious as well. Your family may be anxious about a variety of issues right now. The following are some questions to consider: do I feel more stressed after spending time with a particular person? In a specific location? Are you having a conversation with a family member about a particular subject?
- To counteract this tension, you might try to restrict your time with the person or location that makes you feel anxious. If someone is making you feel anxious, talking with them and someone else about how you feel will help you better handle the strain.
- The easiest approach to fight this is talking to your family and schedule times when you won’t be bothered while you study. It also helps a lot if you listen to music that is designed to help you focus.
- This worries me out since I know it will take me several minutes to get back into the swing of things after each interruption, and there are other things I need to take care of later, so I need to get my job done now.
How do I stop stressing over exams?
If you want to manage your stress, you must first identify it. But you also need to figure out what kind of stress you’re dealing with and what’s generating it.
You can make stress work for you instead of against you.
The majority of people do not experience test anxiety. Instead, they’re going through the typical stress of taking a test. It’s an indication that you’ll need to come up with solutions to complete the assignment. How are you going to prepare yourself to perform your best? What abilities do you need to hone in order to take on this challenge?
The emphasis is on how you perceive your stress reaction experience. According to research, if we interpret this signal as negative (e.g., I’m anxious; I can’t manage this), our bodies’ reaction is harmful, causing us to avoid the issue or expect others to fix the problem for us.
If we interpret the signal as positive (e.g., I’m being pushed to solve a problem; my brain and body are preparing to overcome a significant obstacle; etc. ), our body’s reaction is healthy, helping us to prepare to adapt and change as the stress response intended.
It goes gone when you tackle the problem that the stress reaction has recognised. You’ve also gained a new skill that you can apply in the future. You’ve made a successful transition.
To stay motivated in your studies, you need to establish objectives, but you also need to permit yourself not to meet those goals or try again, especially at this time. The strategies and timelines you worked with prior to COVID-19 may no longer be feasible.
You may have to wait longer to complete your education and attain your other objectives. You must first provide yourself permission to do so. Don’t give up on your ambition or goal, but be sure you’re alright with not achieving it in the way you planned.
Things you can do today
Our stress reaction can be pretty severe at times (mainly if our prior tendency was to avoid stress), and strategies to reduce our stress response may be helpful at this point.
You may hire someone else to perform your “de-stressors,” or you can discover out what works best for you and do it yourself. One thing to keep in mind: determining what works best for you is not a one-time procedure. Don’t be scared to experiment with different options. Your brain will soon inform you which activities you’re doing are the most beneficial to you.
Develop Beneficial Habits
Take a lot of breaks. According to psychologists, we can only focus adequately for 30-45 minutes. Don’t sit at your desk when you take a break. You could go for a quick stroll or even make a cup of tea.
Eat healthily. Eat slow-release meals like bread, rice, pasta, fruit, and vegetables to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and avoid energy highs and lows.
Consider when and where you are most productive. There isn’t a single optimal place or time to work; it depends on what works best for you.
Be active. Even a short stroll will suffice. One of the easiest and most efficient methods to de-stress is to exercise. The fresh air will cleanse your mind and energise you.
Attempt to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. There are several strategies to help a good night’s sleep if you’re concerned about not being able to sleep.
Look for activities that can help you unwind. It may be a hot bath, a TV show, or a creative endeavour. Make time for this downtime in your schedule.
Order of study: Many people begin with the most challenging things to have enough time to concentrate and grasp them without the extra strain of time. You’ll be less worried about studying topics you understand as the exam approaches!
Look out for people wanting to help
Don’t worry about friends who say they are constantly revising. This is most likely not a productive or efficient style of doing things in the long term. Comparing oneself to others is one of the most common causes of exam anxiety.
If you have the opportunity, talk to your parents about their expectations for you. Parents that with unreasonable expectations just add to the stress. It’s a good idea to tell them what you think you’re capable of and emphasise that the best way to get there is with your parents’ support, not pressure.
If you’re frightened or worried, talk to a trusted friend, family member, or instructor. It helps to get it out of your system, and they may be able to assist you in developing practical test stress management methods.
Still stressed after the exam?
- BSMS Virtual Work Experience – https://bsmsoutreach.thinkific.com/courses/VWE
- Observe GP Virtual Work Experience – https://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/discover-general-practice/observe-gp.aspx
- Patient journey to GP practice – virtual reality app – https://www.gmc-uk.org/about/what-we-do-and-why/learning-and-support/e-learning-resources/patient-journey-to-gp-practice
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