Thoughts race through your mind. You start hyperventilating and it’s impossible to focus on the words on the page. This is known as an anxiety attack and it can happen to anyone. It usually happens due to the stress incurred during the exam preparation process. Don’t let this be you. Try these five tips to help you breeze through your next exam:
- Study efficiently
One way to reduce exam stress is to prepare extensively for your exam. Give yourself enough time to study so you can cover all your bases. Don’t fall for the trap of “cramming” which is the process of studying a whole semester’s worth of information in a few days.
If you need help studying certain subjects like languages, seek help early on from VCE English tutors, for example.
The more time you have to study the information, the less anxious and more confident you are. When studying, separate your time into 50-minute studying blocks, followed by 10-minute refreshment breaks.
- Stay healthy
Think about it. How can you expect to perform during your exam if you don’t feel good physically and mentally? Improve your chances of success by maintaining a healthy body.
Eat healthy, brain-loving foods such as nuts, seeds, and berries. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, get enough sleep every night, exercise regularly, and eliminate things like sugar, coffee, cannabis, and nicotine.
Maintaining sober and healthy habits will improve your chances of performing well under pressure.
- Get ready to write
As you get closer to the exam date, eliminate any external stressors that might distract you in the exam room. For instance, if the background hum of a ticking clock or shuffling of paper is distracting to you, practice calming techniques that’ll help you deal with those distractions on the day.
Sleep early the night before the exam so you can get enough rest. On the day of the exam, wear a watch monitor to keep track of the time and bring a sweater so you can regulate your temperature.
- Stay positive
The thoughts you entertain before and during the exam can significantly affect your mood and performance. For best results, try and think good and positive thoughts. Keep a confident attitude about you and remember that you came prepared through focused study. You’ve got this!
- Use test-taking tactics
Here are some test-taking strategies that’ll help you minimize anxiety during the test:
- As soon as you get the exam paper, write the information you’re afraid to forget on the back of the paper. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll feel relieved knowing that the information is available to you no matter how overwhelmed you get.
- Read the entire exam paper from beginning to end before you start writing. That’ll give you an idea of how much you have to spend on each section.
- Instead of writing from the first to the last section in a linear order, start with the easiest section, even if it’s not at the beginning. This’ll boost your confidence and lower your anxiety.
- Give yourself 30-second breaks in-between sections, using your watch to time yourself. During this time, take a deep breath, flex your fingers and stretch your neck.
Have you ever studied really hard for an exam only to fumble during the moment of truth? Proper mental and physical preparation can go a long way to help relieve stress and anxiety so you can ace your exam.