Exam stress is the pressure almost everyone faces irrespective of age, leading to anxiety and fear. No one can design stress-free exams. Stress and exams are directly proportional to each other, and one has to understand and keep reminding himself/herself that this is only a tiny part of life and that everybody goes through it. How to decrease exam stress? To handle exam stress, one can use the most potent tool, mindfulness meditation, and these also help teach an individual how to control anger. It can help people deal with all the exam stress and anxiety effectively by decentring from all kinds of difficult emotions. It further allows a person to become calmer and foresee and gear up to face all the examination stress on students without fear by analyzing the causes of exam stress and working on them. To understand whether we are going through exam stress only, let us see the following points below.
When Does One Experience Exam Stress?
The causes of exam stress is mentioned below, and it occurs when he/she is worried due to certain factors that rage in the mind. They are:
- The family pressure wants to see them succeed.
- When one is not prepared for the exam, or he/she has no time to study.
- The element of uncertainty that brings in the individual.
- They have to get an exam result that has to be above a spectacular mark to carry forward with another course or career.
- Other stress increases and combines with the exam stress.
- They worry about how he/she will perform in an exam.
- They find it hard to understand what he/she is studying.
- They need to learn and memorize a set of details and information to take up an exam.
Symptoms of Exam Stress
The symptoms of the exam stress that is developed due to exams are mentioned below. They are seen to interfere with the way you enjoy life and live in peace. Some of the most common exam stress symptoms are listed here:
- They have a low and overwhelmed feeling without knowing the exact reason.
- They experience trouble in making decisions in all aspects.
- They undergo headaches and muscle tension.
- Tendency to lose touch with friends.
- They lose interest in all the other activities that one previously enjoyed.
- Feeling moody and out of place.
- They do not sleep properly.
- They struggle to start the day and get out of bed.
- Losing appetite and, in certain circumstances, overeating is also seen.
- The exam stress on students creates a feeling of butterflies in the stomach.
- It races the heartbeat or develops a sick feeling.
- They develop irrelevant habits like biting nails, grinding nails and fidgeting with other things.
- They find it difficult to start the study sessions.
- They experience a confusing feeling.
- Mind going blank while taking up the tests.
How to Study and Manage Exam Stress?
There are various tips to reduce stress during exams, and given below are the ones on how to study at ease. Everyone at home can easily do them to manage exam stress. The exam stress management techniques are:
- Keep the study space clean and neat with all the materials organized.
- Ensure that the place where one sits down to study is quiet. This helps to concentrate and perform better with the studying process.
- Collect and go through all the past exam papers, which will help one understand what and how to expect.
- Design a mind map or a diagram to help visualize all the information from one single picture.
- Revise thoroughly to prevent the causes of exam stress.
- Jot down all the essential facts and details and use bright colors to highlight them. This helps one to concentrate on it while revising.
- Create a timetable on what has to be covered at what time and day. Break all the tasks and work on one to prevent an overwhelming feel of examination stress.
- Take intervals between continuous study time with something to refresh and eat. This helps in decluttering the mind and regaining mind balance.
- Always feel free to turn towards parents, friends, and teachers to help further and acquire other valuable tips to reduce stress during exams.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation to Handle Exam Stress?
Meditation for exams is another compulsory remedy to handle exam stress, and it can be done with the following stepwise procedure for a few weeks to feel its benefits visibly. The meditation technique stated below is to increase concentration and lower the stress level within a couple of weeks of practice. And with consistency or regular practice of meditation for exams, it will work wonders to handle exam stress. They are:
- Close your eyes and secure yourself comfortably on a chair.
- Keep the mind black without thinking or focusing on anything.
- Take deep breaths by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
- Focus on the body muscles while performing a proper breathing technique.
- Now take note of the body weight and pay attention to the contact with the chair.
- Concentrate keenly on all the sounds in the room.
- Again, by focusing on the breathing, one should count from numbers one to ten, continuing to watch each breath.
- Take a few more deep breaths and keep feeling the contact with the sitting chair.
A quick meditation before the exam is done by pausing for a moment. Then concentrate on watching all the five things around the current environment. Pay attention carefully and listen to sounds around for a minute. Notice all the five things in contact with the body and then try doing the above at the same time.
It is possible to handle examination stress by either bringing a change in the study and preparation methods or by simply practicing mindfulness meditation efficiently for a few weeks consistently. The meditation is nothing but paying attention to the breath entering and exiting the body. Therefore, it is easy for anyone to face and take up all the exams effortlessly without going through all the exam stress symptoms with the tips mentioned above. Simply by handling stress during exams, one will also master the skills of how to build self-confidence and how to overcome anxiety effectively.