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How to Ease Nerves Before Exams

Examination period is always stressful time. Preparing for exams results in fatigue, stress and then fear, whereas the last prevents us from memorizing information, making us want to run away and hide instead.

It’s a well-known fact that a tired, fatigued mind is less effective and can memorize less information. Human mind can easily go blank and even forget material you have been studying so hard, which results in getting a low grade, although you crouched over those textbooks for a few nights in a row.

Plus, many students experience panic attacks and severe anxiety issues, when in the examination classroom. Under such circumstances, a mind shuts down, while we start to rely on self-preservation instinct rather than well-though decisions. But is there anything a student with anxiety issues can do?

Try to stay calm

Stress can be dangerous, and it is dangerous! When feeling your head boils and nerves tighten up, try to find this switch controller in your head and shut down the brain part that is responsible for nervous break downs. It’s difficult but manageable. Self-control is a fine art everyone can muster.

Feeling stressed already? Have a break, have a nap, or have a snack. When nerves soothed, sit back over textbooks and study on. It goes without saying, coffee and energy drinks are the worst allies. They make a promise of an intense energy boost but it ends fast and is followed by a heavy roll-back effect.     

Positive thinking

You. Can. Do. It. Repeat these four words over and over again, filling in your mind with clear, positive thoughts. Failed a report? Had a fight with a friend over something insignificant? Right now, when you are studying for exams, these things are irrelevant. Block these thoughts in your subconsciousness and start thinking in a more positive key.

Close your eyes, imagine yourself passing test with flying colors, making legitimate answers to questions you know perfectly well. Now, open your eyes, grace a room with a smile, hold on to this moment for a couple of minutes and then carry on cramming.

Don’t go all in on this one test

This is just a test, although an important one, but still just another test you’ll have plenty of in years. Even your finals are just a test, basically neither out life or lives of your closest and dearest don’t depend on just this one test. Even if bad things happen and you fail, it’s not the end of the world, at least not yet. Next time you’ll be smarter and well-prepared to ace a test or any kind of examination at hand. A test is just another milestone to pass on your way to graduation, so ‘all or nothing’ should be traded for deliberate, steady studying progress.

Watch your nerves

When feeling nervous, measure the level of how much you are stressed at the moment on the scale from 1 to 10. If it’s 1-4, nothing major happens, so you can continue studying. If it’s 5, take caution and watch your anxiety levels in the tail of your mind. In case the number is 7 or higher, stop doing what you’re doing, close your eyes and do some breathing exercises. Steady inhale, slowly exhale.

Already feeling the level of your nervousness has dropped back to 5 or even 3? Good, the exercises worked and you can get back to studies. When anxiety strikes you during an exam itself, breathing exercises will pay off greatly too.

Take your time

Haste has never helped anyone to pass a test or exam with flying colors. That’s why in order to avoid unnecessary anxiety, haste and rush you should really start your exam preparation and material revising beforehand. When having enough time in possession to revise the material and learn things you missed on, fatigue and loose nerves won’t be an issue. Additionally, you’ll have more time to sleep and thus restore energy to be productive in the long run. Therefore, studying for tests in advance is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to keep your nerve cells safe and sound.