How to overcome anxiety in the middle of an exam?

By Anusha K

How to overcome anxiety in the middle of an exam?


One may run out of fingers to count the number of exams the students have to take up to prove their worth in this competitive world. The very word "examination" comes with a tension, anxiety, fear and host of other intimidating feelings and thoughts. Even those who often top the class will certainly be anxious to retain their position as the toppers.

During exams these negative feelings and thoughts might come in the form of a "panic-attack". You might have studied something, yet it may seem completely alien. Familiar questions may appear like "out-of-syllabus" questions.

How to deal with it?

* Breathe:

Sometimes, the anxiety-attack can be extreme. The whole question paper may appear as if it was in a language you are not familiar with. The first thing that happens is that you forget everything you ever knew. When this happens, close your eyes and breathe slow and for longer duration (inhale and exhale for a longer duration). This relaxes the whole functioning of the body, hence the yogis use this while meditating to reduce stress.You can make use of the same to de-stress yourself.

* Calm yourself:

It is understandable that at the moment you might be feeling like a lightning is going to strike you. All those expectations that you have to meet, to make yourself, your parents, teachers, friends and at times the curious neighbours proud may suppress your conscious mind. Relax! Consider this as a homework where you have to remember what was taught in class and write the exam. Everyone has been through this phase in life of facing an exam. There is nothing to be worried about. Find the questions which you can answer easily to some extent and then proceed with others, by which time you would have gained some confidence.

* Count backwards:

You know that the time is running and you are unable to remember things. The tension adds on. But you need to stop being tensed, otherwise you are going to waste more time in trying to remember than you would if you were following the tips given here. Count backwards from 10 to 1. Counting backwards slows down the brainwave frequency.

* Recollect:

Identify the key words in the questions which might trigger the answers. Try and memorise when and where were your studying about the topic. Drift into that moment when you were reading the subject. Your mind will then pick the details and present them to you. You will be amazed to find out that by just giving the outer details about an incident, your mind was able to track down the data that you had stored in a memory cell. Do not be bothered by the mind's mechanism. Just ask what you want and you will get it. It is all stored in your own mind(,) so there is no way it can be lost.

Also read: Breaking the exam's spell - Pass the fear by and do well!

Remember that when there are ripples in water, you cannot see what the water contains inside. The same way, when your mind is disturbed and when you are suffering a panic-attack, it will become difficult for you to access the information that lies within your mind. Relax. You will be able to answer and avoid those situations where you start remembering all the important answers for questions you could not answer, after you come out of the exam hall.

The key is being calm and confident.

You may also want to read 8 tips to study effectively

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