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.