“Give your stress wings and let it fly.”
Do you feel like you’re having trouble studying for tests? Then there are a few things you should keep in mind. It’s the phase when students isolate themselves to look for their upcoming exams, whether they’re the 12th standard boards or the highly competitive entrance exams.
Some of them plug all-nighters, while others ignore to eat – but one thing they all have in common is that they are stressed. Some may handle it well, using the stress to motivate them to work harder, whereas others may find it difficult to cope daily, becoming magnified with each passing day.
The weight of expectation well from teachers, family members, and even tutors can be emotionally demanding, resulting in anxiety or depression. It is counter-productive because, during exam time, you need your mind (together with your body) to be in the best form it has ever been and at the top of the heap.
What is Exam Stress? How to know whether you are experiencing exam stress or not? What are the signs and symptoms of exam stress?
Exam stress is a state of tension and anxiety caused by test-taking situations. It is natural to be anxious about competitive exams, papers, or presentations. A small level of stress can challenge you and motivate you to push extra. Exam stress becomes a problem when it impairs your capacity to perform and accomplish your education and learning outcomes.
Signs and Symptoms of Exam Stress
The following are certain signs that you may be undergoing exam stress:
A quick heartbeat, tense muscles, stiff neck, sweaty palms, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, and difficulty sleeping.
Distraction, nail-biting, accelerated smoking, drinking, or eating junk food.
Mental and Emotional Symptoms
Difficulty focusing on studies, racing thoughts, “going absent,” worry, and uncontrollable feelings of fear, dread, or helplessness.
Why do I experience exam stress? How to reduce or handle stress efficiently and effectively?
Causes of Exam Stress
Exam stress can arise for a variety of reasons. Knowing your stress source(s) allows you to develop stress handling techniques. These can be classified into four types:
Concerns about one’s lifestyle
- Lack of sleep
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Use of Stimulants (e.g., caffeine, energy drinks)
- Inadequate exercise
- Not making use of available time
- Commitments are not prioritized
- Inadequate exam-taking strategies
- Inadequate academic information and knowledge (for example, course specifications, exam format, exam dates and centres)
- Lack of awareness of how to use stress-reduction techniques while studying, before an exam, and during an exam
Poor study habits
- Ineffective learning habits (e.g., incomplete content coverage, trying to memorize the reference books, binge studying, studying the whole night)
- Inefficient learning habits (e.g., reading without comprehension, being unable to recall the content, failing to make study/review notes, failing to study/review)
- Feel as if you have little knowledge about the exam
- Irrational beliefs
- Irrational demands
How to handle stress while preparing for Entrance Exams? Here you go!
Tips to Reduce Exam Stress
In recent years, there has been so much conversation about the importance we place on examinations as a society – and we’ve begun to understand that it can generate a very unfavorable environment, especially for the students. If you think you are struggling with test preparation, here are some stress-reducing techniques to keep in mind while preparing for entrance exams.
Take a pause
As you know, you have a near-infinite syllabus that needs to be covered within a limited period. So pulling yourself to the point of exhaustion will not help you gain information. When you are stressed, take a pause and get out of your study room for a few minutes. Take a short walk to get some cool breeze and sunlight, or listen to music and sing along. These techniques have been shown to reduce stress, and engaging in them for 10 minutes per day may help your mind remain healthy.
Particularly for students who are preparing for CBSE and other competitive exams, NCERT solutions can be really helpful as most of the exam syllabus is from NCERT only. NCERT solutions can boost your analytical thinking and can help them to tackle one problem from various angles.
You can also go through the Aakash NCERT solutions for better preparation.
Pray and meditate
Considering the number of distractions in our lives, it can be not easy to concentrate on studying for extended periods. Try meditation when this happens to you, and you begin to feel restless or anxious. It could be with the support of an app, or it could be as simple as closing your eyes and trying to sort your feelings for five minutes – whatever works for you.
Eat a nutritious diet
Skipping meals may save you 20 minutes a day, but it will cost you much more in connection with studies. It could lead to an increase in your stress levels. Make sure to eat a nutritionally balanced breakfast to get your day started right and a lighter dinner to avoid feeling tired and sleepy later. Make sure you’re getting enough of each vitamin and mineral.
Create a timetable
Time management can make or break a project. You’ll feel a lot more in control of your life if you plan ahead of time, give some time to all your daily activities, and make a checklist of which subjects to study when and for how long. According to one study, students who use time management skills wisely experience less exam-related stress.
Also, read the blog to follow effective preparation strategies that will help you complete your exam on time.
A restful night’s sleep
You can’t study all night and expect to be in the excellent nick the next day because psychologically, this is not how the human body works. Inadequate sleep, even if only for one night, will have an impact on your competence and stress levels. Make it a point to get at least 7-8 hours of continuous sleep per day.
Indulge in some physical activity
We’re sure you’re aware of the numerous advantages of exercise. One of them is that it aids in the reduction of stress. If that isn’t enough, being physically active during your exams will be beneficial as well – your body won’t hurt as much from sitting for long periods, and you won’t get sick as quickly.
Also, go through the blog to know some of the things that you need to do in your leisure time when preparing for NEET.
Sometimes stress is unavoidable. It comes and goes at times. There are usually some triggers that cause your stress levels to rise during the latter. Identifying them and limiting your vulnerability to them can be beneficial. If it’s a friend who is constantly judging your progress, checking social media apps, or even certain foods, try to cut them out of your life permanently, or at least until you’re no longer able to do so until your exams are done.
Experiment with different techniques that are enjoyable
Studying from a textbook can become tedious and monotonous. Unsurprisingly, it can cause undue stress. The simple solution is to experiment with new techniques such as making notecards or creating a study group from period to period. It will facilitate learning, re-energize your mind, and automatically help you cope with stress.
Do not bully yourself
There have always been people who try to put you under pressure. Nothing, however, is much worse than the compression we put on ourselves. Many negative emotions are associated with unrealistic expectations; you end up feeling like a breakdown and constantly criticizing yourself. This negativity can cause significant harm, not only now but also in the future. Instead, try encouraging yourself, celebrating small victories, and being your cheerleader.
If you’ve tried everything to manage your stress on your own and nothing seems to be working, seek professional assistance. Discuss your feelings with your parents, older siblings, or teachers you respect. Keep an open mind. Request their service in contacting a healthcare practitioner if necessary.
Stop comparing yourself to others
Want to fulfill your dreams? Certainly yes, then you should take this statement seriously. Everyone has their parameter in which they succeed. You are the master of your life; stop comparing yourself to others because it will lead you nowhere. Instead of reaching yourself to everyone else, try to discover your ultimate mission and make progress on it with full devotion. It will assist you in achieving high grades in competitive examinations.
A quick glance at some extra stress-relieving activities that can be used by students while preparing for entrance exams.
Extra Exam Stress-Relieving Strategies
Here are some quick and easy ways to deal with the stress of competitive exams:
- Watch your favorite television shows for a few minutes to recharge your batteries
- Stay active by drinking hot chocolate or hot tea
- Take a shower for immediate stress relief
- Try cooking something that will divert your attention away from negative thoughts
- Get enough sleep at night
- Prioritize things apart from studies
- Avoid conversing with negative people
- Stick to a study schedule
- Take a walk
- Don’t worry about exam results
These tips and tricks will assist you in dealing with stress and performing well in competitive exams.
Frequently Asked Questions about Stress Handling Techniques When Preparing for Entrance Exams
Question 1: How do you deal with exam stress?
7 ways to deal with exam stress and anxiety:
- Eat Properly
- Your body requires nutrients from food to function properly
- Rest well
- Relax before going to bed
- Distraction techniques
- Positive thoughts or cheerleading expressions
- Techniques for Relaxation
- Speak with someone
Question 2: How do I relax before an exam?
Here are some pointers to help you stay relaxed during exams.
- Prepare for your exams as far in advance as possible
- Put the exam in context
- Get a good night’s sleep ahead of time
- Before the exam, eat healthily
- About an hour before the exam, stop studying
- Be aware of the exam’s time and location
- Improve your self-talk
Question 3: What are the top five ways to deal with stress?
Manage your lifestyle with these five stress-reduction tips:
- Make use of guided meditation. Guided meditation is an excellent way to divert your attention away from the stresses of everyday life.
- Practice deep breathing exercises regularly
- Maintain regular physical activity and a healthy diet
- Manage your time on social media
- Make contact with others
Question 4: How do you keep students motivated during exams?
Students can achieve success in six steps:
- Consider your interests
- Give yourself the freedom to choose
- Encourage collaboration as well as competition
- Invest time in reviewing previous exams
- Praise yourself, even in small victories
- Check your practice work timely
Question 5: What can I do to be happy during exams?
These are some tricks that students can use to feel better about their exams.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
- Discuss your stress with someone
- Take a deep breath and relax your mind
- Go out and enjoy yourself
- Spend time with your friends
- Play some of your favourite music
- Watch some movies or television shows
Question 6: How can I maintain my confidence while studying for competitive exams?
Follow these four tips to succeed in competitive examinations.
Step 1: Create a timetable. As a first step, create a timetable that considers what you want to achieve in the short and long term.
Step 2: Concentrate on preparation
Step 3: Assess yourself
Step 4: Maintain your optimism and confidence