Prepared or not, most students experience stress on the run-up to exams.
Try to keep the following points in mind:
(i) The stress created by exams is a positive force (good stress) which you can use to help you pull through. A little stress is necessary.
(ii) Aim to find ways to harness the energy associated with exam stress and put it to good use.
(iii) Failing an exam is not the end of the world so keep your anxieties in proper proportion and maintain some perspective. Too much stress is bad for us.
(iv) There is lots of goodwill coming your way. Everyone wants you to achieve, especially the examiners.
(v) No one understands everything. There are bound to be areas where you feel under-prepared and confused. This is absolutely normal.
(vi) When you feel stress or anxiety the following breathing exercise can help you relax – even in the exam hall:
* sit in a comfortable position.
* make sure your body is at ease – two feet on the floor, hands in your lap, back straight, shoulders down.
*Close your eyes.
* Allow yourself to notice the sounds all around you, for a moment.
* Notice your breathing. Do not change it in any way. Just observe it. Are you breathing quickly, slowly, deeply?
* Breathe in slowly counting to 7, hold as you count to 10, exhale as you continue counting to 15. Deep ‘belly breathing’, not shallow chest breathing. Repeat 5 times.
* Open your eyes.
* Sit quietly for a moment or two.
* Repeat if necessary.
(vii) Focus on controlling the things that are within your control and forget about the rest. ‘Control the controllables’.
(Viii) Stay present and in the moment. Don’t be thinking ahead. ‘Be here now’.