How to Deal with Exam Stress?
An increasing amount of students are coping with exam stress, but you can do something to make it easier for yourself. Here are some strategies you can use.
Identifying the Symptoms of Exam Stress
Before you can deal with this type of stress, you need to be able to identify when it’s happening to you.
Emotional Symptoms of Exam Stress
If you suffer from exam stress, you might find yourself worrying nonstop about your upcoming exams. You might fear that you can’t pass the exams, or can’t meet the standards you or someone else set for yourself. You might end up having trouble concentrating or suffering from mental blackouts.
As a result, you might end up worrying about potential consequences, like failing the class, losing loved ones’ respect, or not being able to turn your dreams into reality. You might even feel like you have no control over whether you can succeed in the exams or not.
Physical Symptoms of Exam Stress
Physical symptoms of exam stress might include headaches, increased heart rate, and even dizziness and blurred vision.
Here’s How You Can Deal With Exam Stress:
Now that you know how to recognize exam stress let’s figure out how to treat it.
Believe in Yourself
Remind yourself of all the times you succeeded in situations you were afraid you’d fail. Give yourself credit and become your own best cheerleader.
Don’t Compare Yourself
We know it’s easier said than done, but comparing yourself to others usually doesn’t get you far. Everyone has their own backgrounds, strengths, and resources.
Similarly, don’t compare yourself to your ideal image or try to be perfect. You’re great as you are. It’s great to aspire to improve, but remember that no human beings are perfect.
Learn Better Study Skills and Habits
Like we said, you can always improve, and learning how to study better and prepare better for exams will likely ease your mind and take away some of your exam stress.
Check out the study skills and study habits (link to study habits article and see if there’s a way to apply them.
Create a More Balanced Life
If you’re like most students, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of items on your to-do list. But taking the time to take care of yourself – get some rest, exercise, eat healthily, do something that makes you happy – is essential for stress reduction. It will also help make your life feel saner (link to work-school balance article).
Remember You Can Turn Things Around if You Fail a Class
Failing a class feels terrible, and no one wants to feel this way, but remember that you can turn things around (link to failing a class article). Many students face failing a class – sometimes, it’s part of life. Reminding yourself that you can do something about it will likely help reduce your stress.
Support Yourself During the Exam
Bring a bottle of water with you to the exam, and support yourself through it. Take deep breaths, and tell yourself positive affirmations. Remind yourself how much you’ve studied, how you’ve overcome scary situations before, and what you can do if things don’t go your way. Love yourself through the exam, and encourage yourself with a reward when it’s done.
Talk to Someone
If you feel that exam stress is getting to be too much, talk to someone – a friend, a parent, a teacher or an advisor. It’s not a shame to ask for support. It’s a powerful choice that will help you feel better and get the results you want faster.
You Can Excel in University Anyway
If you experience exam stress, you’re not alone. It’s very common, and many students experience it. But excelling in university is still doable if you’re proactive, take some of the steps we listed here, and ask for support.
Don’t give up. Keep taking steps forward, and it’ll get easier over time.