The Dreaded Exams!
Who hasn’t heard of the exam jitters? The short term memory losses, the constant feeling that we don’t remember anything of what we have studied and in the rush, esp those ten mins before the exam we try to brush through the pages and feel that we remember something and feel even worse that we don’t remember a lot of things.
And the mind is so tricky that it looks at all the things that it cannot remember and give you an underlying message that you are headed for an impending doom! So much for the exams and what they demand out of you.
Although I am not very supportive of the model of an exam which makes you try and remember every little thing you have read, some places I guess it becomes a necessity. Well! No matter what the model of the exam is, the fear, the jitters and the feeling of losing confidence are all very well justified ones, the ones we have all experienced at some point of time and realized that it actually hurts the performance that helping you through it.
So.. What is the solution for such a situation? How to avoid this fear of exams? How to avoid the feeling that you are not going to reach your expected mark? How do you tackle the run of emotions at that time so that you give your best in those 3 Hrs? The thoughts below will certainly help you put your ideas into shape. (This however works only with a reasonable preparation)
If you are looking for last minute tips, here is a post which talks about Exam Fears and 8 Solid Last Minute Preparations
1) WHAT SCARES YOU?
What is it that you are afraid of? Scoring less in exam? Getting the questions you have not studied? Thinking that you will fail? Feeling bad that you have worked so hard for this and it is not going to work? Feeling afraid that you might forget what all you have read?
No matter what these reasons are, you got to get a grip on yourselves. You should know that no matter what you are going to do now, it is not going to make a difference about the type of questions. You don’t have control over the topics you have not covered, you don’t have control over what questions appear in the exam, you don’t have control over how the evaluation is going to correct these papers.
That being the case, you need to notice that what you don’t know is very strongly affecting what you know. It is coming in the way of your performance, it is hurting your exam, it is hurting your state of mind and it does not have the right to destroy your hard work for the rest of the things.
Something you don’t know should never stand in the way of what you know! Get a grip on yourself!
2) RUN THROUGH WHAT ALL YOU HAVE DONE SO FAR!
One reason of the fear or of low confidence is that you are focusing on the negatives, on the things that you don’t know. Even if it is very small compared to the things that you know, somehow fear makes you feel that it is going to destroy you. In such a case, go through glimpses of your preparation.
Think of what all you have done to get here, think of the time you have spent on the subject, think of all the effort that you have gone through, think of all the emotions that you have invested on this. There is no way that all of it is going to take a backseat. It will come through, it will come for your help.
Don’t stress and push your immediate emotions to take control over the stability you have. You have done quite a lot of things and even if you don’t remember it right now at this moment, it will come back to you, leave some space for that question and move on, don’t worry about what you don’t know.
3) REMEMBER THE TIMES YOU HAVE EXCELLED
This works very well before you are entering the exam hall or before you get your papers. If you are particularly feeling low, don’t let that thought consume you.
Think of all the achievements in your life, where you personally feel that you have done something you are proud of. It doesn’t matter what it is about, think of the times where your team won, think of the time where you excelled at an art you thought was impossible for you, think of the achievements you have made in your life.
Think of how you felt when you made those achievements, think of the emotions that led you there, stay there, keep imagining that picture in your mind in a very bright manner, imagine the sounds of laughter and claps and the crowd cheering for you.
Think of how you felt, think of the emotions, think of the feel, translate the same emotions here. The exam is not very different
4) BE PREPARED FOR SURPRISES!
The paper setters are clever, they are not going to give you a silver spoon and a platter full of delicacies. They are going to surprise you. The primary reason being that they want to know how you respond to a situation where you are not very comfortable.
They want to see how you think and how you react to challenges, in other words they want to test your ability to handle stress. Few days ago we wrote a post on – 9 creative thoughts for a tension free life which may be slightly applicable here.
Prove them that you are not a wimp, prove that you don’t get scared that easy. If they are testing how strong you are, you better show your strongest side.
If you try to show your weakness, you are bound to lose. If you are fighting, bring on the fighting spirit of a lion, there is no point in trying to be a fox.
5) YOU DON”T HAVE TO SCORE ONLY 100% TO SUCCEED!
Most of us live in the delusion that if we get anything lower than 100%, we fail. Sometimes we even think that 99% is a failure.
I agree that you come with very high standards in life and expect the very best out of yourselves. I appreciate that. But I also appreciate the fact that your expectations are not the same as the exam’s! They both are different in a certain scale.
I am not saying that you should not look at perfection. Look at it, strive for it, give your best to achieve that goal. But don’t let a mark or two dishearten you.
It is not about those small differences in life, you got to see the bigger picture and know that there are a lot of successes between 90-100, infact more in the 90 range than the 100
6) RESPECT TIME MORE THAN YOUR TENSION!
Tension is a very interesting delusion. It makes you wonder about a lot of things without you realizing how much time it has eaten into. It inhibits your thinking ability and makes you wonder forget even the things that you remember.
The simplest reason for this is that you have let it affect your thinking capacity, so much of energy and emotions are being spent in catering to this tension that the brain does not have enough energy to access its memory chamber or its thinking capacity.
Respect this time more than the thoughts you have right now, they are temporary thoughts, they will be strong but you have to be stronger than that and know that they are temporary and they don’t mean anything.
They are just trying to distract you. Be reasonable, know that tension is your biggest enemy and distraction.
Here is a post which will provide you 10 tricks for absolute mastery in time management
7) SAY SCREW IT, LET”S DO IT!
Say that, say it out loud. This is a stupid exam, it is not a mark of who you are or what you are capable of. It is just trying to test you on a few parameters and nothing as a whole.
It’s not that big a deal. Sometimes we give it way too much of importance than it deserves.
Play it a little cool, simplify your emotional process, don’t put a lot of stress on your brain, poor thing, why do you want to make your best friend struggle for you.
Say Screw it, I am just going to do my best no matter what!
8) ENJOY THE SILLY THING
You know what! This is an exam, the whole thing is never going to come back again in your life, atleast not in the same emotion or the same set of thoughts.
If that is the case, make the best out of it instead of complaining and feeling bad about it. If you feel bad about it now, you will find reasons to keep feeling bad about things.
Forget that silly expectation and those silly superstitions. No matter what, tell yourself that you are going to enjoy it, you are going to smile at it. Not because the exam deserves it, but because you deserve it!
9) YOU ARE THE MORE IMPORTANT ONE!
The exams are just a part of your life, infact a very simple and a tiny one. It is important no doubt but it is not the most important thing in the world.
5 years down the lane or infact even 5 weeks down the lane it might not be this important at all. So why are you worrying that it is a matter of life and death for you?
You are not on the death bed, this is not something which is going to obliterate you. So relax a bit and maintain yourself. You are bound to succeed.
And keep remembering this, YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING and the rest is just consequential. So… treat it that way and I am sure it is going to go well.
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