Familiar with the feeling of butterflies in your stomach before an exam? Everyone experiences some stress before an exam - this stress is helpful because it encourages you to work harder. However, sometimes it can turn into blanking out over the simplest of questions even when you studied hard and did your best for the exam. This is what we call exam or test anxiety.
Test anxiety is characterized by a feeling of immense stress before, during, and occasionally following exams. It can lead to deterioration in performance. The degree of exam anxiety can occasionally be influenced by expectations from the person's family, peers or by their own personality traits, such as perfectionism. Fear of failure, scoring low marks on a previous exam, and unpreparedness can also lead to test anxiety.
Symptoms of test anxiety may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Poor concentration
- Going blank even after studying well
In some cases, diarrhea, fever, and stomach pains can also occur.
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How to Cope with Test Anxiety?
Here are some tips to help reduce your test anxiety:
- Avoid holding unrealistic expectations from yourself. You may not be able to score 100% marks, but know that you did your best.
- If you start to have anxious or negative thoughts, question your thought pattern. Instead of saying, "I can't do this," and thinking in a pessimistic way, find solutions to the problem and work your way through the syllabus.
- Get enough sleep. Good sleep helps in better concentration and ensures that you remain calm during the examination.
- If you start feeling anxious in the middle of the examination, try breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will help you feel less anxious.
We at Solh Wellness understand that test anxiety can be an unpleasant and stressful experience, but it is also treatable. Feelings of anxiety before a test are valid. However, if you are having trouble dealing with it, you can always reach out to a mental health professional. Find more self-help tips and contacts to certified and experienced counselors on the Solh App.