You’re waiting in line. You’re probably in front of a classroom or a gymnasium. Standing there, anticipating your exam. You’re prepared like never before. You did all the exercises possible, twice. You almost camped at the teacher’s office, day and night, just to make sure you asked all the questions you can possibly have. You arrived earlier this morning to review the topic of the exam. You barely slept last night. Actually, you’ve been lacking sleep for the past week. But you are ready.
You know you are ready. However, behind your confident appearance, you’re drowning.
How To Deal With Anxiety Before Exams
The exam starts in 5 minutes. You’re talking to your friends, but your mind isn’t with them. Your friend laughs to a joke he just made, but you didn’t hear it. You wish he would stop making jokes. Deep inside, you wish he would just stop talking. You fake smile back, just not to be seen as socially awkward.
The door opens. You don’t want to get in. You’re way too anxious. You still get in. You take a seat, open the first page, and you are completely blinded by anxiety.
You are ready.
You know you are ready.
Or maybe not?
You’re just not sure anymore.
If you recognize yourself, here are some dos and dont’s that might help you for your next exams.
Don’t arrive to Early
You probably arrive early before an exam, but getting there too early is not good idea. When you’re reviewing with friends you might get more anxious. You’ll probably hear people say: “You didn’t study chapter 4? The teacher said it’s in the exam!” It goes without saying, that this situation will not help you. Instead, try to get there 5 to 10 minutes earlier and keep yourself from talking about the exam to anybody. If your friends tend to stress you, don’t talk to them right before going in.
Do Sleep Well
You want to make better use of your time, so you’re thinking, I should study later at night. Be careful, lack of sleep is a huge factor in increasing anxiety. When your nervous system is not rested, it is normal to feel more anxious. Also, you will have a harder time concentrating. So, instead studying deep into the night, you should instead work on getting a regular sleep pattern. If you think that by sleeping earlier, you wont have enough time to study, I suggest you read our articles on procrastination and time efficiency to help you make better use of your time.
Don’t review on the day of the exam
Yes, you red that one right. Do not review on the day of the exam. If you’ve worked hard, and you are ready, you don’t need this. Reviewing the day of the exam might make you feel like you’ve missed out on some topics. And frankly, if that’s the case, it’s too late, and this will make you anxious. So you better just be rested and relaxed for the exam and do the best that you can.
Do Eat Well
Don’t forget to have a good breakfast and lunch (if your exam is in the afternoon). We tend to forget to eat when we’re too anxious, but eating is crucial. Your brain needs sugar to function properly. You have to eat something before attending an exam, it will give you more energy and lower your anxiety level. If you have a hard time feeling energetic during the day, here are 4 life changing tricks to do so.
Don’t Think About The Outcome Of The Exam
Before and during an exam, don’t think about your result. Stay focused on the present. You should not think about your grades, your chances of getting into college, getting a good job, your family’s opinion etc. The only thing that matters is you and the exam. Try to detach yourself from anything else. Create a bubble between you and your desk. You are in charge. You are ready. You can do it. The outcome of an exam will not define your destiny. If you want to make it through anything and you work hard, you will make it. Do not worry. Remember, you never fail at anything, you either learn or you win!