Dealing with exam stress

Students suffering from exam stress in library
Photo: © Kiattisak Lamchan / 123RF Stock Photo

Examination stress is pretty much common among students these days. All students pass through this critical phase which arises out of excessive worries about excelling at and outshining other competitors in the race. The fear of examinations, referred to as ‘examination phobia’, adversely affects performance and abnormally disturbs the psychological balance of an examinee. It is characterized by feelings of utter confusion, worry, frustration, anxiety, depression, frustration and perplexity.

However, psychologists believe that a certain degree of stress is essential for a better performance both in the examination and life, because stress functions as a catalyst. Moreover, a little stress to some extent makes us stay focused on the goal that we want to reach in our lives.

Psychologists believe that a certain degree of stress is essential for a better performance both in the examination and life, because stress functions as a catalyst. Moreover, a little stress to some extent makes us stay focused on the goal that we want to reach in our lives.

Busting exam stress requires a two-pronged strategy — first, students must plan seriously and meticulously to prepare well for the examinations. Secondly, they need to stay cool, calm and composed when the pressure of doing better than others starts occupying their minds and affecting their routine.

1. Your approach to life and career must be very realistic
Every person on this earth is born with some inherent special talent which the rest do not possess. So it is very essential for students to recognize their knack and know that special talent. Ask yourself — what can you do best? What is your forté which others do not have? Based upon these honest findings and facts, students should set a specific aim in their lives.
There is no gainsaying the fact that setting goals without knowing your strengths and weaknesses would merely place you in jeopardy. Besides, your goal must not be influenced by the unrealistic dreams of your parents and peer pressure. This way you will be able to stave off undue stress in your life.

2. You must have a flawless and practical study plan
Planning is the stepping stone to success. That is why it is said that if you fail to plan you plan to fail! An immaculate study plan is essential for good examination preparation. However, before making the plan one must keep in the mind how many hours you have at your disposal to give to serious study. Planning only for the sake of planning will not help.

3. Do not hide your problems
Under stressful conditions, it is better to talk openly about your problems with someone you trust most and whom you consider as your confidant. Sharing problems reduces tension. The sensitive, empathetic, sympathetic and caring attitude of the parents at this critical time of anxiety may prove to be a much-needed cushion. Teachers too may prove to be saviours. They can help dispel any fear or phobia that might have arisen due to the pressure of imminent examinations.

Read the full article by subscribing to the print or digital editions of THE TEENAGER TODAY.

Shreeprakash Sharma
Latest posts by Shreeprakash Sharma (see all)

Shreeprakash Sharma

Shreeprakash Sharma is the Principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mamit, Mizoram. He writes articles in Hindi and English for a number of magazines and newspapers, and also contributes to All India Radio (AIR).