Exams are stressful, be it Board Exams or National Level Entrance Exams. For the uninitiated, an exam like IIT-JEE or NEET could be mind-boggling. More than anything, it’s the anxiety and stress that affect your performance in these exams. How much ever you know the subjects, if you cannot cope with anxiety your performance will be below par. And remember, sometimes a single mark can decide your chances of getting into a prestigious institution or a seat in a mediocre college.
If you think you’re free from anxiety, think twice because almost everyone has anxiety. Only the level and ability to cope with it differs. A competitive exam will start even before you know it. The moment you enter an exam venue, the anxiety level will start to increase. It requires only small triggers.
You will come across students discussing some topics you haven’t even heard of, your friends will ignore you, the hustle and bustle and the general atmosphere could be overwhelming for you. All of these coupled with your wish to score well in the exam starts to build anxiety and which in turn may affect your level of confidence and performance in general.
Another aspect is Time Management. You will feel time moves too fast during these exams. Before you know it, you will be halfway through the ‘time’ with only a quarter of the questions attempted. When you know you’re lagging behind, you’ll start to feel the pressure. Rushing through the remaining questions will seriously jeopardize your accuracy.
The problem with anxiety is, it progresses geometrically. For some, something which starts off as a small uneasiness might reach a full anxiety attack within a matter of minutes. You might start hyperventilating and palpitating during the exam and there will be nothing in an exam hall that will help to calm your nerves. So it’s imperative for you to learn how to cope with anxiety and not to put yourself in these kinds of situations.
If you’re a student who suffers from anxiety:
- The first thing to do is to realize you have this problem. Don’t worry it’s not a mental illness. It’s common and everyone has it.
- The next thing to do is find the reasons that are causing it. Is it fear of failure, parental pressure, inadequate study, fear of teachers, or something else? Once you realize the problems, it’s easy to learn how to cope with them.
- Talk about it to your parents and peers. Sometimes you might need counseling. Don’t worry, not from psychologists or anything. Sometimes a small reassurance from parents or teachers will help a long way in boosting your level of confidence.
- Maintaining healthy habits and natural rhythm will help control exam stress. Sleep, eat well, drink plenty of water, play, and exercise regularly. Find time for entertainment, avoid caffeinated drinks and energy drinks, and reduce blue light exposure.
As the old saying goes, practice makes one perfect. You would need to practice the tests as much as possible. If you’re preparing from home, joining a Crash Program will help you to ace the exams with confidence. It will help you to recognize your weaker sections, improve your time management skills, learn few prerequisite skills like answer shortcuts, etc. It will include many mock tests that will simulate the real test experience. All of these when combined will help you to cope with the anxiety and help you to give your best performance on the exam day.