How to Beat Examination Stress
By: SUC Dean and Professor, Dr. Amitabh Upadhya
Sharjah, UAE, March 7, 2017: Preparing for an examination can get one under pressure for desire to succeed peer and parent expectation and fear of failure. However, knowing well what to expect during the examination can give you an advantage of what you should do before anxiety kicks in.
Some of the major reasons why students fail their examinations are lack of preparation, extra-curricular activities, peer pressure, poor support system, and a lot more. These factors greatly contribute to failures but can be prevented 99.9% of the time.
First, you need to understand the importance of examination, so any distractions and activities must be set aside in order for you to gain focus. Second, condition yourself well to avoid confusion, poor concentration, excessive anxiety, tiredness, and other symptoms. Lastly, fill your minds with healthy and positive thoughts, which will highly boost your self-esteem and eliminate negativities.
Tips to Manage Stress
1. Plan well and go for a revision
Study Area - Having a good study area can make a huge difference to how well you learn. Study in a well-lit, quiet area, away from noises and people in the house. If this is impossible, it might be better to study at the library. Make sure your desk is tidy and organized - it means you can concentrate on studying and learning, not trying to find information.
2. Switch the Phone or Email Off!
If you find that you are being distracted by the phone or emails, it might help to put the answering machine on or get others in the house to take messages for a while. You can always ring people back later.
3. To Do Lists
Make a to-do list before each study session. Breaking tasks down into small, manageable tasks will make it less overwhelming.
4. Make your notes, books and essays user friendly.
Find Out About the Exam – Find out what format the exam will take i.e. Are the questions in essay, short answer or multiple-choice format? Is the exam open book or closed book? Knowing how the exam is marked and what proportion of your total mark its worth might be helpful.
5. Get Help.
Ask your Tutor how to go about revision. Your teacher or tutor can help if you are having trouble developing a study routine or need help with understanding subjects or a particular topic. Asking for help does not mean you're a failure or stupid - it's smart to tap into their experience and knowledge to help you perform better. Keep going back to them if you're still unsure or you have more questions. It's their job to be available for you.
6. Try explaining tricky questions to someone.
Study Groups - Forming a studying group can be a helpful way to revise your notes and work through past exam questions (it can also help you feel supported, keep you motivated and focused). If you have questions about your work, a study group may be a good place to have them answered. Ask your teacher if they know of anyone else interested in studying with other people.
7. Revise when you know you are at your best.
Don’t cram EVERYTHING just one night before the exam. Revise and Learn (Not Just Re-Read) - Sometimes reading through notes doesn't result in learning or understanding. Know your Preferred Learning Style - Some people work better using text based memory tools, like acronyms (e.g. ROYGBIV - colours of the rainbow; acrostics e.g. Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit). Other people find more visual tools more useful, e.g. mind maps or tree diagrams. Don’t avoid revision of those courses you hate the most. Include the following in revising each topic:
a. Vocabulary, technical terms definitions
b. Summaries of points
c. Formulae, rules, diagrams, charts
d. Ability to understand relationships
8. Take Short Rests. Getting up, moving around and away from your desk at least every 50 minutes for 10 minutes makes you concentrate and learn better. Be Positive. Eat Well and Stay Healthy. Exercise- remember a healthy body has a healthy mind. Talk to your friends and relax.
9. Avoid Procrastination - Procrastination is when you do everything else but the task you need to do. It is normal to procrastinate a little. However too much procrastination can just add to your stress and can result in you not giving yourself enough time to prepare. Managing your time and setting realistic goals for each study session can be helpful ways to avoid procrastinating and make tasks seem less overwhelming.
10. Use your Frees - Studying in the school library during your free classes gives you access to lots of information available on the reference shelves. Some material, such as sample solutions, often can’t be taken out of the library or can be too long to photocopy. Don’t go by what others say.
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