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Exam stress? Don’t fret, it is about time management and a bit more!

Examinations are meant to be an assessment of how much a student has learnt. However, with increasing competition and a marks-driven academic approach, exams have become the green-eyed monster. Students are stressed and quite literally dread the time of the year when their exams are scheduled. Let alone children, parents too feel the heat and pressure. Exam stress for students and parents is real, and yet, this needs to change.

Cause and effect of exam stress

There are many reasons why students feel stressed about exams. They worry that they might fail and the pressure of doing well is too much to handle. This pressure could arise due to their own benchmarks of success (that is attributed to a certain percentage or marks) or also from family and friends. However, besides the mental anxiety of not wanting to fail or performing well, there are also a few practical aspects that can cause examination stress.

These could include, not understanding the subject or comprehending what the teacher teaches. It could also mean not being prepared enough or not spending enough time studying. Also, students aspiring for colleges and competitive exams require a certain percentage cut-off. And this compulsion of getting a good score can also add to the stress.

How is this stress manifested?

Emotions of feeling overwhelmed and confused are common during exams. Students might feel anxiety, stomach upsets, dizziness. They may also be prone to becoming fidgety, biting their nails etc. Mood swings, lack of motivation and feeling low are other signs of stress.

How to overcome exam stress?

First of all, as parents and educators, it is important to instill confidence in our children. Examinations are a big deal, but they are not the end of all. It is important to explain to students that their capabilities and also future are not always limited to the outcome of specific exams.

Besides, following basic tenants of time management and planning your schedule can help release examination stress.

Time management tips

Managing your time well prior and during the examination, the schedule is one of the best ways to keep the nerves in check.

Here are a few ways of time management for exam preparation:
  • Clear all your doubts by asking questions to teachers or taking notes from friends. Make sure you understand whatever has been taught.
  • Set a study space for yourself. It could be a quiet corner or room. Let it not be cluttered with other distractions.
  • Keep your exam schedule accessible and be aware of the days, time etc.
  • Make a time-table and chalk out a plan on what and how much you plan to study. Allow yourself breaks and keep the study schedule practical. Essentially, do not overload each day with too much study, but make it a do-able time-table by mixing up subjects and interests.
  • Also, the study plan should begin many days before the exams. Start preparing and studying for subjects over a period of time so that you are not crammed for time last minute.
  • Make short term goals and give yourself small rewards. Set achievable study targets and once you complete them allow yourself a little treat. It could be watching a short video, meeting up a friend or anything that you like.
  • Mentally put your focus and attention on the examination. Avoid distractions, such as unnecessary scrolling on social media, watching television etc.
Time management during exams
  • Once the exams begin take each assessment one at a time. Concentrate on the next exam and prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Take regular breaks from studying. Yes, your mind and body need a little flexibility to function better. So shut your books once in a while and let yourself loose. Exercise, go for a walk, listen to music, chat up with family, play a short game with your sibling or more.
  • Do not ignore your diet and sleep. It is very important to eat and sleep well during examinations. Staying up late or just gulping down coffee can harm the internal body balance and add to the stress. Eat a well balanced and healthy diet that comprises of vegetables, nuts, proteins, cereals etc. Avoid junk as it might give you instant energy which fizzles and drains you out later. Similarly, make sure you are getting eight hours of sound sleep to keep you fresh and alert while writing the exam next day.

Now that you have a better idea of how to handle exam stress, you can also search for some exam stress funny quotes or memes to lighten up your mood. However, exam stress management is achievable, you just need to stay focused, plan and believe in yourself. We hope these tips for exam stress are helpful to calm and relax you. But always remember, an examination may not always define your potential. And so do give it your best, but know that true knowledge is much more. All the best!

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