How To Deal With Exam Anxiety -The Unconventional Approach (Part 1)
Exams could be stressful, more that one can even think of. And this is so true that unless you don’t sit for an exam, you don’t know what’s around the corner, even if you have taken hundreds of them already (at least how it feels). It’s quite normal to feel anxious, stressed, panicked, worried, nervous and even excited.
Don't worry I'm not going to bore you with some conventional approaches on ‘how to cope up with exam anxiety’. Rather I would take an unconventional approach towards making some points that could be helpful for you in dealing with exam anxiety.
It's common for all of us to put any undesirable situation behind us unless we are forced to be in the situation. Therefore the first thing you should understand is that exam is real, and ignoring the exam and its existence would further make the situation worst! So come face-to-face with the reality!
The next step is to be prepared for it. From day 1 of your term/semester, you should keep reminding yourself that in X number of days you are sitting an exam. Numbering the days would work as an automated reminder in your head. So each day its 120 days to go for my exam, 119 days..116 days….93 days…45 days and so on. It’s important to do so, because if you can’t quantify it, you can’t measure it. Quantification of exam days would kill your ‘exam anxiety’ because you know it from day 1 that ‘its coming’.
The third step is to accept the fact that you would soon be in ‘exam situation’. People, who keep challenging themselves, keep rising. Tell yourself that reading books and going to the college is not the only fun thing that you are supposed to do rather exams come with the package.
The fourth step is to never to underestimate your capabilities and never ever compare yourself with anyone else. So if in your opinion your classmates are far better then yourself just because they are more prompt in answering questions raised by the teacher in the classroom, doesn't mean that they would certainly do better on the exam day as well. You must understand this fact that there are different learning styles of different students. Ideally it's the responsibility of a teacher or a tutor to identify learning style of student on an individual level and teach them in accordance with the individual learning style. Therefore just because your learning style hasn't been yet explored or identified, doesn't mean that you cannot achieve your desired grades. My recommendation at this point is (if it's not too late of course) to identify your learning style. This would help you in getting deeper into the problem of dealing with exam anxiety and handling it.
Moving on to the next step, it is to carry a positive attitude. As bookish and boring it may sound, carrying a positive attitude towards anything in life in general actually works. If you believe in yourself that you can do it, trust me you would. And if you believe in failure before even trying, then you can’t escape your failure. Hence, in addition to following 4 steps that I have explained above, the most important thing is to give ‘success assertions’ to yourself every morning you wake up. In my next post I will continue writing more on how to deal with ‘exam anxiety-the unconventional approach’.
Until then believe in yourself and just block any negative comments about you from anyone.
Remember, people who are your well-wishers and friends would never underestimate your capability.