Have you ever experienced that blank feeling before the exam or as soon as you enter the exam hall? You have been studying hard for the next paper, but whenever you think of the examination hall, you can feel your palms getting sweaty and a pit in your stomach. That is what exam anxiety feels like and needs to be addressed at the right time; otherwise, your test scores may not reflect your real abilities.
While a little nervousness before an exam is natural and helps you focus better with a sharpened mind, excessive anxiety can interfere with your exam performance and make you feel miserable. Exam anxiety can affect every student, whether a primary school student, or a secondary school student. And if you think toppers don’t face it, you will be wrong. The only difference between a topper and an average student is that toppers know how to manage their anxiety and not let it overwhelm them. Please read on to learn ways to deal with exam anxiety so you can focus on scoring well in IB school or CBSE school or Cambridge school in Singapore.
1. Be prepared:
While this may seem obvious, it is worth a reminder. If you have prepared for the exam thoroughly, you will feel confident to face it. But it is also important to take care of your mental health during preparation. Set realistic goals that you see yourself achieving. If you set unrealistic or unachievable goals, you won’t be able to accomplish them, making you feel lost and hopeless. Acceptance of your situation and planning within the limits of your capacity maximises your productivity without the risk of burnout.
2. Get adequate sleep on the nights before the exam:
Many students make the mistake of doing all-nighters and trying to cram whatever they can just before the exam. It exacerbates their nerves and increases their anxiety. Getting adequate sleep before an exam is more helpful than cramming information until dawn. At the same time, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to feel lively and energetic.
3. Be optimistic:
Instead of thinking that you will mess up in the exam, it is better to focus on your strengths and face the exam positively. When facing a difficult situation, it is hard to look back and think of our achievements to eliminate negative thoughts. Instead of constantly thinking, “I am going to get blank in the paper”, you can come up with a morale-boosting mantra such as “I worked hard and deserve this” or “I can do this”.
If you feel like the anxiety is getting the best of you, talk to a friend or a family member and try to look for solutions. Just because you have to face the exam alone does not mean you can’t ask for help. A little pep talk from a parent or a mentor can go a long way in helping you increase your confidence and avoid getting overly anxious about the exam.
4. Read the question paper carefully:
Before starting to write the answer or make a choice, read the directions and all the questions thoroughly. Nothing is worse than spending a good amount of time writing an answer only to realise that the question was asking for something entirely different. Falling prey to such a situation can affect your confidence in the examination hall and make you feel more anxious than ever. So, take your time, understand all the instructions, and then start tackling the questions one by one. You can start with the ones you feel are the easiest and work your way up to the harder ones.
5. Remember to breathe:
Slow down and focus on positive thoughts and calm breathing. Deep breathing is known to pace down your heart and mind and bring that sense of calm and peace. You must set aside at least fifteen minutes each day for meditation or breathing exercises to help calm down the response of your body toward stress and anxiety. Breathing and concentrating on it all along can decrease anxiety and hopelessness, giving you time and energy to think through your anxieties and rationally eliminate unproductive thought patterns. It helps you deal with exams effectively by having better preparation and mindset.
Even if you study in the best secondary school in Singapore, facing a certain level of anxiety and apprehension before an exam is normal. The problem arises when anxiety interferes with your performance and affects your grades. We hope that the tips given in the blog above help you deal with your anxiety in a better way and help you pass all your upcoming exams with flying colours. Keep working hard, and you will get there!
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