Here are some tips to avoid exam fear

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The exam season for students has begun! Stress and a “slight case of nerves” will likely always be a part of anyone who is preparing/appearing for their examinations. But, did you also know that being too nervous can affect memory, concentration, cause thoughts to race, cause “blank-outs”, and create other distractions during the exam, as well as give rise, among other things, to feelings of discouragement? 

If you are trying to figure out effective ways to “calm down”, or simply a student looking for ways to manage exam-time stress, read on to learn about time-tested ways to deal with test-time nerves. 

• First, let us look at our study rooms. Is your desk littered with study books? Bad idea, cause that is already giving you stress, and you are already wondering if you will ever be able to finish it all on time. Before you retire to bed, make sure you have kept your desk in order, books in place so that next morning, you will be able to start on a positive note. In case you are in the habit of sticking your room walls with posters of your favourite cricketers or film stars, this is a good time to remove them as it might distract you from studying. 

• Try slipping into the shoes of your teachers and try a mock classroom while studying. Imagine you are playing the teacher in class, trying an imaginary teaching session with the students. Bring in that body language and mannerisms and take this opportunity to learn yourself. That’s perhaps the best way to learn your subjects in depth. While studying you should be able to imagine what you are learning, visual imagery always helps. 

• Stay away from all kinds of social media platforms. That can be extremely distracting and addictive and affects your studies adversely. 

• It’s always best to write and study. Especially math.

• Take short breaks in between and indulge in your favourite activity. It can be reading a book, dancing, or singing. Avoid substances that increase anxiety: caffeine, sugar, nicotine, and cannabis. Continue to get adequate sleep, exercise, and healthy food during exam time.

• You can avoid stressing yourself the day before exams by revising the portions earlier. Spread your studying over the whole term rather than “cramming.” Feeling that you do not have enough time to cover everything increases anxiety. And it also helps you get a good night sleep. You should also sit in the exam hall with a relaxed state of mind. Only go to the exam room a few minutes early to avoid encountering anxious people.

• Stop complaining about how you always get a bad deal in the exam and how you never get the portions you have studied. Learn, and practice over time, how to challenge your negative thoughts. Think positively. Results will be there for all to see.

• There is absolutely no point in comparing notes with your friends after the exams than make you more nervous. Go home and start studying for your next exam. 

To avoid exam stress during the Higher Secondary Examination, Education Department (Higher Secondary section) has introduced a toll-free Telephone counselling service called ‘We Help.’ (Ph no is 8004255459. It’s open from 7 am to 7 pm for both students and parents. The service is provided by Higher Secondary Career Guidance and Adolescent Counselling Cell. 

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