• Donnington Grove

Coping with Exams

15

Exam is like a milestone in your course of life. At the exam you have a chance to show people and yourself what you have learnt and what skills you have acquired.

Exams test many qualities at a time – how strong your nerves are, your partnership ability, ability to systematically thinking, acting in critical situations and many others. In other words, it checks essential life skills, making you more responsible.

The success of your exam does not depend only on the knowledge you possess in the subject, but on individual features: thinking peculiarities, ability to concentrate under stress etc. To cope
with your task and attain best results in the subject, you should be aware of your peculiarities. If you have rich imagination and remarkable imaginative thinking, you should not give way to fear and emotions, drawing terrifying pictures of exam in your head. You’d better use your imagination for memorizing the material – build up schemes, pictures and comparisons.

When you prepare for the exams, at first divide all the information into big sections, then into smaller divisions so that the information may be presented as a scheme. You should ask yourself “What is the most important here?”. During the exam look through all the tasks and start with the easiest. Think over the detailed plan of fulfilling every task.

Concentration

If you find concentrating a problem then rational time management can help. For you taking the exam starts with preparation for it. Divide all the information into sections to be learnt every day. You should strictly follow the schedule. Alternate work (every hour) with rest (10 – 15 minutes). At the exam be especially careful when reading the task, focus on it and forget about the rest.

Good organisational skills

Before the exam have a sound sleep and you should be confident of your knowledge. If you have a task you think you can’t do – do not worry. You will have time to return to it afterwards.

When you prepare for exams your eyes experience great strain that is why breaks are indispensable. Not to make the exam a deadlock, never set impossible tasks. Don’t expect a disaster and prepare for the exam beforehand when you are calm and relaxed. Before the exam have a good sleep. Take a deep breath and try your best.

What are the symptoms of exam stress?

  • Difficulty getting to sleep or waking up in the morning
  • Forgetfulness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Aches and pains for no apparent reason
  • Poor appetite
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Increased anxiety and irritability
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Increased heart rate

How can I deal with it?

  • Take time for your mind and body to relax. Chatting with friends, out for a walk and eating out etc.
  • Try to make time for yourself away from your studies to wind down – a relaxing bath, listening to music etc.
  • Regular and frequent exercise is a good stress reducer.
  • Eat well – skipping meals will deplete your energy and leave you drained.
  •  Talk to your family and friends. Making time to see your mates will help you unwind and let you unburden any problems.