Intense Exam Anxiety: How to Cope With It

FSD Staff

At some point in their academic career, most students will experience some degree of anxiety before or during an exam. For some, this may be a minor inconvenience that disrupts their focus and causes them to perform at a lower level than they are capable of. However, for others, this can be a debilitating experience that severely impairs their ability to function.

The good news is that there are ways to cope with intense exam anxiety. The first step is to understand what is causing your anxiety and then address that issue.

Common Causes of Exam Anxiety

Many different factors can contribute to exam anxiety. Some of the most common causes include

  • fear of failure; 
  • fear of not meeting expectations; 
  • fear of disappointment; 
  • lack of preparation/procrastination;
  • the belief that practicing or studying is a waste of time and won’t be reflected in the grade you receive.

As soon as you find the cause of your anxiety, it becomes much simpler to address the issue. By pinpointing the issue, you will determine whether or not there are realistic expectations associated with your fears. You may also find that you are expecting unrealistic results from your efforts or that your fears are unwarranted.

For example, if you are afraid of failure, you might base your expectations on an ideal scenario where everything goes perfectly and exactly as expected. This might cause you to panic when things go wrong because it doesn’t match the picture in your head. You may think that studying for an exam is a waste of time if you do not have a realistic expectation of the grade.

Coping Strategies for Exam Anxiety

Once you have identified and addressed the cause of your anxiety, it’s time to start developing coping strategies. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Get Enough Practice

Going through exam questions is a great way to study. This will help you master techniques and understand the types of questions that are likely to be on the test. Most professors will give their students access to past exams, so it is good to take advantage of this resource. 

If you opt for online practice exams or purchase a practice test booklet, you will be able to get a feel for the exam format and the type of questions asked. For example, you can search “write my essay” to get help with academic writing if you know that you will have a task to compose an essay during the exam. Prepare well beforehand, and you’ll be more confident in your abilities.

Make a Study Plan and Stick to It

Before an exam, it is important to have a study plan and stick to it. This means setting aside time each day to review the material. By doing this, you can spot your weaknesses in understanding the topic and work on them. In addition, it will help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed as the exam draws closer. 

If you don’t have a study plan, you are more likely to procrastinate until the last minute. This will only make it harder for you to focus. 

Ask for Help

If you feel stressed about your upcoming exam, don’t hesitate to talk to your professor. They may provide some reassurance or give hints on what material you should prioritize. 

You can also find a professional essay writing service essayservice to help you if you need to improve your paper writing skills. That way, you’ll be able to improve your grades.

Get Plenty of Rest

When you are tired, your body is more likely to feel stressed. This means that you will be less able to concentrate. Make sure you sleep well at least for several days before the exam. 

Your overall well-being also depends on your ability to rest properly. Health experts recommend getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. 

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is pretty beneficial for your mental health. Physical activity helps keep your body healthy and maintains the right hormonal balance. Plus, the chances are that if you feel good about your physical appearance, you will feel better about yourself overall.

Embrace a Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude can go a long way towards relieving exam anxiety. While sometimes it might seem impossible, try to avoid thinking in extremes. Instead of telling yourself that there is no way you could ever get an A, tell yourself that you’re going to do your best. 

By focusing on success instead of failure, you can reduce stress and anxiety. Give yourself credit for what you have done so far, and don’t dwell on the fact that you still have work to do.

Don’t Leave Studying for the Night Before the Exam

It’s never a good idea to try and learn everything in a short period. The last thing you want is to end up feeling overwhelmed right before the exam. Not only is this ineffective, but it also increases your anxiety levels. 

Make sure that you are taking the time to understand the material. Don’t try to memorize everything, as this will be a waste of time, and it won’t stick in your memory. 

To Sum Up

While it is normal to feel some anxiety before an exam, it is important to take steps to manage your stress. Follow the tips from this article to cope with your anxiety and focus on doing your best. 

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