How to Overcome Anxiety on Test Day?

Anxiety levels go high before every important exam for most of the students. It is very common to get anxious before or during the test day. This happens with millions of people be it a job interview, presentation in the office, important business deal, important match at the stadium or an important exam for the betterment of your career.

Firstly, it is important to identify and recognise the following signs of anxiety on the test day :

  1. Reading the same information/question again and again
  2. Going completely blank on simple and basic content related to your exam
  3. Making unnecessary comparisons with the high achievers of that test
  4. Staring at the computer screen and your mind goes blank

There are also many physical symptoms which can be listed to identify the same :

  1. Stiff muscles
  2. Cold or sweaty hands
  3. Headaches
  4. Back or neck tension
  5. Tense shoulders
  6. Sleep disturbance/Insomnia
  7. Stomach distress
  8. More colds and infections
  9. Fatigue

and the list is unending……..

We shouldn’t consider anxiety as a negative term since it will not work the same way for all the students. Although, it may work as a booster for some students. It is very important to identify your anxiety levels and overcome them to perform your best on test.

There are many tried and tested tips that every student must follow to avoid stress and anxiety:

  • Try to solve few new and twisted questions on every day basis. Do not keep a fixed order of studying; keep changing the order in which you study various topics.
  • Create a error log to avoid making same mistakes in the exam, thereby reducing the stress levels on your mind
  • Comparing yourself with your peer will only increase your stress levels. We all have to fight our own battle. Never compare your scores/results/performance with others.
  • Lack of sleep is one of the major reasons for low performance on test day. Try to take a sleep of 8-9 hours starting atleast 2-3 days before the exam. Exercise and meditation can ease the effects of anxiety, but none of them will be as effective as a proper sleep.
  • This one may sound like a typical mommy advice, but right food at right time works wonders for your anxiety levels. Avoid heavy, oily or fatty food items. Too much of caffeine or energy drinks will create more anxiety. This is a persistent myth that coffee will keep you attentive. Fresh fruits and food with low protein keep your mind active and fresh.
  • Always concentrate on the current question. Don’t bother about the questions that you have already attempted or the questions which are about to appear. Most of the students start thinking about careless mistakes that they did on previous questions which shoots up the stress levels.
  • Take a deep breath for about 2-4 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath count going in and out. Try long, deep breaths; hold your breath, and then exhale.
  • “I have to crack this exam to get admitted to Harvard “such thoughts will only aggravate the stress levels but a little change in the perception may make you feel empowered to take the exam. Your dream college or a destination should be a “want to” and not a “have to”.

These are few things that you can practice at home to be able to apply on the exam day. To be more focussed and confident on the test day, be sure that you know the structure and the format of the exam and you must take enough practice tests to anticipate your results.

Chinu Vasudeva

Head, Academics

chinu@leverageedu.com

Anxiety levels go high before every important exam for most of the students. It is very common to get anxious before or during the test day. This happens with millions of people be it a job interview, presentation in the office, important business deal, important match at the stadium or an important exam for the betterment of your career.

Firstly, it is important to identify and recognise the following signs of anxiety on the test day :

  1. Reading the same information/question again and again
  2. Going completely blank on simple and basic content related to your exam
  3. Making unnecessary comparisons with the high achievers of that test
  4. Staring at the computer screen and your mind goes blank

There are also many physical symptoms which can be listed to identify the same :

  1. Stiff muscles
  2. Cold or sweaty hands
  3. Headaches
  4. Back or neck tension
  5. Tense shoulders
  6. Sleep disturbance/Insomnia
  7. Stomach distress
  8. More colds and infections
  9. Fatigue

and the list is unending……..

We shouldn’t consider anxiety as a negative term since it will not work the same way for all the students. Although, it may work as a booster for some students. It is very important to identify your anxiety levels and overcome them to perform your best on test.

There are many tried and tested tips that every student must follow to avoid stress and anxiety:

  • Try to solve few new and twisted questions on every day basis. Do not keep a fixed order of studying; keep changing the order in which you study various topics.
  • Create a error log to avoid making same mistakes in the exam, thereby reducing the stress levels on your mind
  • Comparing yourself with your peer will only increase your stress levels. We all have to fight our own battle. Never compare your scores/results/performance with others.
  • Lack of sleep is one of the major reasons for low performance on test day. Try to take a sleep of 8-9 hours starting atleast 2-3 days before the exam. Exercise and meditation can ease the effects of anxiety, but none of them will be as effective as a proper sleep.
  • This one may sound like a typical mommy advice, but right food at right time works wonders for your anxiety levels. Avoid heavy, oily or fatty food items. Too much of caffeine or energy drinks will create more anxiety. This is a persistent myth that coffee will keep you attentive. Fresh fruits and food with low protein keep your mind active and fresh.
  • Always concentrate on the current question. Don’t bother about the questions that you have already attempted or the questions which are about to appear. Most of the students start thinking about careless mistakes that they did on previous questions which shoots up the stress levels.
  • Take a deep breath for about 2-4 minutes. Close your eyes and focus on your breath count going in and out. Try long, deep breaths; hold your breath, and then exhale.
  • “I have to crack this exam to get admitted to Harvard “such thoughts will only aggravate the stress levels but a little change in the perception may make you feel empowered to take the exam. Your dream college or a destination should be a “want to” and not a “have to”.

These are few things that you can practice at home to be able to apply on the exam day. To be more focussed and confident on the test day, be sure that you know the structure and the format of the exam and you must take enough practice tests to anticipate your results.

Chinu Vasudeva

Head, Academics

chinu@leverageedu.com

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