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Examination stress (types, diagnosis & solutions)

How do you deal with Examination stress ?

 
Hello, Examination ! Your name is Stress !

What is examination stress ? It could be defined as a type of heightened anxiety affecting a candidate before, during and after an examination.

It is a common issue dealt with by students throughout their academic life. Stress is a normal human feeling that is part of life and can often serve as a god form of adrenaline. Stress is your mind or body's natural response to what it views as a threat. When threatened, your body triggers a number of physical (somatic), emotional and mental (cognitive) reactions. Each category is connected to the other, so anything that can be done to lessen one reaction will lessen the impact of the other two categories.

The butterflies in the stomach, the sweaty clammy hands, the urge to visit the toilet, the weak knees, the unreasonable panic attacks: these are vital signs of stress.

The two types: anticipatory stress experienced while studying and thinking about the ifs, and situational stress experienced during the examination itself, can cause loss in concentration, physical distress and emotional upset. These outcomes could affect performance excellence.

How is one able to diagnose the stress and act on it to maximize performance ? The sufferer notes the triggers that create stress. He charts his physical, mental and emotional reactions to better analyze his ability to overcoming stress.

Symptoms of stress vary from person to person. Some students are mildly affected and exhibit few symptoms, while others experience severe reactions. Physical, mental and emotional symptoms are seen before, during and after the examination. They run the whole gamut from appetite changes to excessive tiredness, stomach cramps, dry mouth, fainting and vomiting.

Examination stress is more common than most students realize, and the symptoms are generally the same for almost all students who experience it. Certain people are more prone to stress attacks. Almost everybody feels a certain degree of stress. However, the intense worrier, perfectionist, ill-prepared learner, masters of avoidance, procrastinators are likely to be more highly stressed. Sometimes a vicious circle comes into play.

Examination stress can be a real problem, especially when the stress reaches a height where nervousness takes over and the candidate cannot even focus on the test questions and do his best. However, there are steps you can take to keep stress at a manageable level.

Traditional strategies such as developing improved studying and examination-taking skills can make a significant difference. Stress management and physical health care enable the sufferer to lessen his stress level.

Examination stress is often treated using conventional prescription medicine. While there is a place for prescription medication, consideration and caution should be taken regarding possible side effects.

There are also many herbal and homeopathic remedies which can help maintain harmony, health, and systemic balance in the brain and nervous system, without side effects or sedation.

In dealing with stress, there are Dos and Don'ts. The many Don'ts include not to be negative or rushed or be influenced by those more stressed than you. The Dos include positive statements, natural breathing techniques and believing in yourself. After all, it is just an examination !

On the Test Day itself, be fresh and alert, think of past successes and put things into their right perspective with success visualization.

A little stress helps. Heightened stress paralyses. One can have no stress, too little or too much stress. In the first instance, the candidate is overly confident. In the second instance, the candidate is spared much stress. In the third instance, the candidate is a bundle of nervous energy. Which category do you fall into ?

See you soon, Examination. Goodbye, Stress !

     
gamut   complete scope / range
     
procrastinators   people who put off doing
     
paralyses   unable to move
 
 

 

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