How to Overcome Exam Fear

How to pass difficult courses
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Student with exam fear

“HOW TO OVERCOME EXAM FEAR”. Ever watched an episode of ‘Fear Factor’ and took note of the contestants reactions when they are about to face their fears? This is the same way by which some students face exam.

Exam phobia is a very common characteristic among students in any stage of education. This anxiety is often caused by a couple of reasons, ranging from:

  • the desire and pressure to meet up to standard set by siblings or parents

  • stress, which can cause little or inadequate preparation for the exams at hand

  • being in a classroom with unhealthy competition.

  • under preparedness for exams

  • poor motivation from self, teachers and parents

So, we will not be looking at the causes of Exam Fear but we will rather look at the solutions to exam fear which will make you bigger, better and more confident to raise your head high when facing your next exam.

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So without further or do,

HOW CAN YOU OVERCOME EXAM FEAR?

1. Know and understand your unique reading pattern

Human beings are different and what works for me might not work for you. So, you must understand yourself and know what reading pattern works for you.

Some people enjoy reading in the daytime and are less bothered by noise or distractions while some people enjoy reading at night when everywhere is a bit quiet and there are lesser distractions.

Also, some people are very OK lying down to study while some people who try this will most likely be in dreamland under 15mins (myself inclusive). So I mostly sit on a reading table to study. So your reading pattern affects your preparedness.

READ ALSO: SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN WAS TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING YOU READ

2. DO WELL TO SET TARGETS

Another step on how to overcome exam fear is to set target. For every subject or course you want to study, set a target as to the number of chapters and topics you want to complete in a day, week or month as the case may be.

Having a target helps you cover more grounds and increases your preparedness for an exam .

3. START EARLY

Late preparation causes exam fear.

This is one of the major causes of exam fear. Late preparations usually produce bad results. If you want to know how to overcome exam fear, you need to adopt the system of early preparation. The sooner you start revising, the better for you.

Early preparation improves recollection, understanding and composure during exams which repels panic and anxiety. Early preparation allows you spend more time on more difficult topics.

4. STUDY HARD AND SMART

This is one of the most effective ways to overcome exam phobia. You must study hard to cover up ground. Sometimes, your desire to pass an exam properly determines how hard you study because laziness impedes proper study and makes you lose speed when reading.

But do not forget something this “it is one thing to study hard and it’s another thing to study smart”. Often at times, students make studying extra tedious for themselves which hinders smart study. Learn to streamline your reading patterns to avoid scattered reading.

Focus more on what’s important; organize your books and handouts. This enables you read in an organized manner, which in turn helps you prepare properly for exam. We will talk about this more in another point.

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5. JOIN A STUDY GROUP

Challenge yourself! Joining a study group has a very key role in overcoming exam fear. Personally, it helped me very much and it is another form of smart study.

Join a study group which exposes you to areas you have not covered during your study, areas which you lack adequate understanding and also easier and faster approach in tackling exam questions.

I once had a very bad semester in school, fell sick during my examination and was not able to properly read but due to my study group, I was able to still make headway in the examinations.

NB:  Join a study group which promotes healthy competition and not intimidation!

6. BE ORGANISED

From your note taking to your writing patterns you must be organized. Make use of highlighters; mark out important and key points in your notes which will help you later on when reading, rather than looking and spending time swiping through pages.

Take down important notes during classes because such notes come in handy and can help you when you have difficulty studying. Write legibly and neatly, to avoid difficulty when ready. Believe it or not, it affects assimilation. Proper arrangements and organization of notes, tests, and assignment papers in turn helps you get more prepared.

7. SET TIMETABLES

You know those subjects you need to spend more time on. Create a realistic, reasonable and workable timetable, one which you know you will keep up with. Not too stressful, not too scanty. Your time table should contain breaks because ‘all work and no play make jack a dull boy’ (You must not necessarily play though; may be rest). This is another step to take on how to overcome exam fear.

8. EAT BALANCED DIETS

Your body requires adequate nutrients to function well. Believe it or not, your eating habit affects your brain performance. Skipping meals won’t be exactly a good idea. Therefore, you need proper intake of proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates which improves your focus.

9. BE POSITIVE

Another technique on how to overcome exam fear is to stay away from bad energy. Stay away from negativity and everything that brings thoughts of negativity and failure during exams. Your mindset affects your success program. Thoughts of failure and fear causes’ exam phobia so therefore, think positively!

10. PRACTICE PAST QUESTIONS

I always enjoyed this part of studying because past questions always gave me a view of how the exams would possibly look like. There is usually a 40% chance that the examiner will likely lift a number your exam questions from past questions. So, you can increase your preparedness by practicing past questions from time to time.

Past questions also helps broaden your understanding and also provides a form of self-examination to know how far you have covered in your reading. In some of my exams, I learnt some new things and tricks while practicing past questions.

N.B. Be careful not to put your confidence in past questions. They are PAST questions and not PRESENT questions. They may not be repeated.

 

Hope you learnt a thing or two on how to overcome exam fear? Put these into practice and watch the anxiety go down the drain. Also, if you have suggestions or contributions, you could put them down in the comment section. I’ll appreciate it.

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SEE ALSO: HOW TO FINALLY LOVE MATHEMATICS

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