Is This You?
- Two weeks left to do a semester's reading... and papers were due yesterday!
- Sleep is something vaguely remembered...
- Exercise means dragging yourself from your desk to the soda machine and back...
- Chips, candy bars, and coffee are mainstay of your diet.
- You've lost your concentration and problem-solving abilities.
- Feeling helpless and overwhelmed is an everyday occurrence.
- All of the above can be symptoms of "exam anxiety" -- a common ailment among students!
What causes or contributes to exam anxiety?
- Putting off assignments or studying
- Too little exercise
- Skipping meals/snacking on junk food
- Caffeine/sugar overload
- Letting fears get blown out of proportion
- Feeling unsure of yourself and your abilities
What You Can Do:
- Learn and consistently use good time management skills to help you plan and organize your workload for the semester. Procrastination is an easy trap without a well thought out and structured approach.
- Maintain good health habits to reduce stress and increase your mental and physical energy. Include a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, daily relaxation, adequate sleep, and some activities just for fun.
- Be aware of those negative thoughts/messages that can cause you to lose a positive perspective. Remember past successes. Be realistic regarding expectations. Deal in facts, not assumptions.
- Take advantage of social support to help keep morale high. Friends can help boost your confidence and give you a good balance between work and play.
- Stop studying an hour before your exam. Go for a run, listen to relaxing music, visit a friend.
- Once in class, avoid discussing what you have and have not studied. Stretch a little, take some deep breaths, give yourself a positive message ("I'm prepared -- I'll do my best").
- Read through the entire exam before starting. Gauge your time and assure yourself that there is a lot you can answer. Skip items you are not sure of -- then return later.
- When finished, just sit back and relax for 3-5 minutes -- then recheck the exam.
- Reward yourself with an enjoyable activity before starting to study for your next exam.