How to give Stress Free Examination
Stress is a part of everyones life as it provides us the extra bit of energy to face challenges and demands of life. But if stress becomes too much to take for us then it can really pull us down in every aspect and in extreme cases can even ruin our life! Stress level varies from person to person as every person has different sets of limits and endurance power. While for some it might be like too much, for others it might seem no big deal at all. But we may ignore any type of response to stress coming from any individual only at our own peril!
There is both a positive and negative side of stress and we tend to focus more on the negative side as it is more overwhelming and omnipresent in the world but we can turn negative stress into a positive force through right approaches and methods of dealing with it. Whether the stress that we experience in life would work in a positive way or negative way rests on us and it is we who can ultimately change its direction towards a constructive action through our determination.
Examinations of any kind are always stressful as it poses different sets of challenges before us that we need to deal with for moving ahead in life. But more often than not we are overcome by foreboding thoughts of the future outcome of an exam. Since youngsters are more vulnerable to negative stress they are the worst hit by exam stress and not following the right counter-charge can have devastating effects on their self-confidence and even their life. Over stress from impending exams or studies in a youngster can lead to lack of concentration, loss of appetite, low self-esteem, headaches, depression, anxiety, insomnia, nausea and can even lead to panic attacks or nervous breakdown in extreme cases or something worse like taking ones life!
Hence it is of immense importance that students learn to deal with exam stress not only to make them perform at their best during the exams but also in that way learn to face challenges in their future life and career. This article will focus on some very significant tips that will help a student to overcome exam stress, if properly followed, and consequently give a stress-free examination!
(1) Grow a positive outlook
To begin the de-stressing process in you, you cannot begin on a negative footing; you have to be positive in your thought process. So instead of visualizing yourself as a failure keep imagining yourself as an achiever with a top grade. Keep harping on it, till it gets ingrained in your system. If you find it difficult then write uplifting thoughts in a diary, like I am not a failure, I am a success, I am a good student, I will fare well in my exams, I will get A+ grade in school this time, and similar ones. Keep reading those and visualizing in your mind daily. Read positive stories of real life achievers. Meet people with a positive outlook and be encouraged by their words. Consciously avoid any kind of situation or people that has even a slightest bit of negativity in it.
(2) Laugh out your worries
There is no better medicine than laughter to de-stress and drive out your worries. So next time you feel too much stressed out and depressed go and watch a hilarious movie that would split your sides almost. Read funny jokes and share a few of those with your friends. Tell them to send you something similar as well. Watch comedy shows on TV. Try to stay in a jovial mood always and meet people more often who would make you laugh. Do not spend a single day without at least one instance where youd be able to laugh out loud.
(3) Make a good schedule
It is prudent to use your available time before the exams fruitfully to get you better prepared for the exams. For that purpose you need to prepare a good schedule that works best for you and gives equal attention to study and revision at the same time, putting your best efforts and managing time for relaxation as well. Choose the time of day for study when you are fresh, relaxed and can concentrate harder. Break up your study time into multiple small sessions ranging from 20 to 30 minutes to avoid boredom and maintain quality and concentration. Take breaks in between to eat or drink something or take a small walk and then come back and re-focus. Mix your study subjects in such way that it serves your purpose and doesnt become monotonous at the same time. Try to allot more time for studying as the exam gets closer and if required cut down on other times. But at the same time dont forget to spare some time for physical activities and relaxing, while leaving enough room to have a good nights sleep. Keep the schedule flexible and alter it a bit based on your study requirements but dont revamp it.
(4) Choose a proper study plan
When you have a lot to study or revise and you dont know where to start from it can get you more confused and increase your stress level. So it is very important that you make a proper study plan to give attention to all the subjects you need to study and revise, while giving priority to the areas where you are weak or dont feel that confident. For that purpose you have to first chalk out how much time you have before the exams and how much of the study material you need to cover to get you prepared realistically. Talk with your teacher to help you out in choosing areas of a subject to study based on priority. Make a check box of to do list and check out once those have been accomplished with constant monitoring. You have to choose your study plan in such a way that there would be enough time for you to revise your subjects in the end. Give more attention to the problem subjects or areas for you and take help if required from your teachers to solve out the stumbling blocks.
(5) Dont cram the night before
Cramming is never supposed to be an effective way of studying and not certainly the night before the exam. Several researches done over the years have shown that a human brain can only retain a part of the crammed material and most of the effort is rather wasted. All cramming at the last minute can do is get you more stressed when youd find it hard to remember what you had studied later when required. So if you have allotted enough time for studying your course subjects in the earlier days and also for revision, then the night before the exam will just be another revision time to make sure that you have ironed out all the problem areas and is ready for the test.
(6) Choose your study environment carefully
Making your study environment a congenial one for studying can be real helpful for concentrating and putting the best efforts while studying. So choose that part of your room or house that is secluded, free of distractions and noise and the ideal place for study. If required make separate arrangements in using part of a room as your study. Choose a place that doesnt have distractions like a TV or a music system nearby and the surroundings is less noisy. Dont study in too dim light as it will put excessive strain on your eyes. Study on a wooden chair and table, with the height of the table similar to that of a dining table. This way you wont get sleepy while studying and be alert always. If you feel comfortable then you can study at the library nearby also.
(7) Use known techniques of memorizing
If you are finding it hard to memorize what you just studied then apply certain known techniques to work for you. For some students repeating the text over and over again, sometime reading out loudly helps them to remember. Others like to summarize the whole text in a few words and write it on a piece of paper as notes to help them revise later. Some also like to create images and stories and link them with the study matter to embed in memory. While some other students tend to get familiar and involved with what they were studying and create a gist in the mind to remember. Making rhymes or patterns out of chunks of a text can also help you to sustain memory. You have to try out and see what technique suits you the best.
(8) Set Study Goals
Make weekly study goals to help you achieve your ultimate goal of better preparedness for the exams. Be honest with yourself and dont try to pass by any goal you have set. Set realistic goals so that those can be easily achieved with a little effort put in. Choose goals for each subject you are studying, not the ones you like studying only. Reward yourself with something that you love to do (nothing distracting) for accomplishing a goal. By doing so youll not only build slow but steady steps toward better preparedness for the exams but also will get more confident with time.
(9) Take mock tests prior to exams
Ask your teacher to take mock tests just weeks before the real exams that will test your preparedness and will also ready you for the real challenge. If you dont fare well in certain subjects then ask your teacher for help and listen to his advises carefully. If you study with a batch of students then it will help you further in getting acclimatised to the real exam ambience. If you work hard on your weaknesses and build on your strengths following expert advises then you can improve even within the little time available before exams. Feel good with every improvement and know that you are slowly getting better. With every test the tension build up within will ease out slowly.
(10) Practice Meditation and deep breathing
Meditation is a widely proven and well-researched way of relieving stress. Practice meditation at least 15 minutes daily to help you relax and also concentrate better at the same time. Choose early morning time for meditation as it is mostly advised by experts. Sit in an upright comfortable posture with crossed legs and your hands resting on your lap or thighs. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Take slow deep breathes and exhale out completely. You can also practice deep breathing whenever you feel stressed while studying and also do other known breathing exercises to make yourself feel stress-free.
(11) Eat and sleep well
Even though you might be trying to put in as many hours as you can behind your studies just prior to your exams you must not neglect your sleep-time. Getting yourself sleep-deprived will not help your cause in any way. It will instead make you sleepy during study-time, easily fatigued and also feel irritable. So get at least six hours of night-sleep every day to stay fresh and study well. Also dont skip your meals while studying as it will make you feel fatigue easily and reduce your brain efficiency. Eat protein rich food like eggs, baked beans, yoghurt, fish, milk, etc. and also lots of green vegetables. Stay away from spicy foods and those drinks that are high in caffeine.
We all have the opportunity to make certain choices in life. If those choices are good ones then it will produce the desired result in due time. Deciding to deal with your stress before exams is just one such good choice. So if you make that choice then the above tips will help you immensely in appearing for the exams feeling stress-free. Take that conscious decision today and give your best shot at the exams!