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How to Overcome Exam Phobia

Sailun Tires

When a graduate or student learns material for exams, he or she does not think about psychological preparation. Fear of exams is the main reason why the grade is 1-2 points lower than deserved. It is frustrating to get a failing grade because of some nerves after a week of diligent preparation.

Testophobia is a fear of exams and assessment tests. To get rid of it, you need to sort yourself out and change your attitude to what is happening. We tell you how to pull yourself together before an exam, even with the scariest teacher.

Fear is good.

It is the body’s natural reaction in a situation of threat or stress. At this point, our body mobilizes to express itself. The main thing is to channel this energy in the right direction.

Fear of exams shows that you care. It is important for you to know the subject, to show your knowledge to the examiner, and to ensure your professional future. It means that you want to prepare for the exam as well as possible and not let yourself get lazy. Even knowing that fear is your helper can ease your anxiety.

Why are we afraid of exams

Now let’s look into the reasons for fear of exams. The student may have his motives, but mostly it is:

  • Fear of the unknown. When a student enters an auditorium, he does not know what ticket he will get, what the teacher’s mood is, and where he will have to sit. A large number of unknown variables scare a person, he does not know how to behave.

  • Fear of criticism. Nobody likes to be criticized, especially perfectionists. Such people are afraid that they will receive a lower grade than the one they expected. This is a serious blow to self-esteem, and fear helps ward it off.

  • Fear of public speaking. Russian schools have only recently begun to develop this skill in children. New graduates and students have to make it on their own. They are afraid that they will do something wrong, and someone will laugh at them, hence the anxiety and panic.

  • Fear of responsibility. There may be too much at stake: a scholarship, a place on a budget, or a dormitory. Thoughts that you can lose a lot because you fail, do not allow you to concentrate on the exam. Such people cannot accept that the future depends on them.

Take at least half an hour of self-discovery to understand the main reason for their testophobia. At this time you need to be as honest with yourself as possible. You will not be judged, because this monologue will take place in your head, and no one will know about it.

What not to be afraid of

Several psychological techniques will help to relieve anxiety and unnecessary stress. After these, you will not become Clark Kent or Wonder Woman, but you will gain confidence in your strength and knowledge.

Scroll through the exam in your head

This technique will help you remove the fear of the unknown. You need to recreate in your head what the exam will be like. Think about what you will be wearing, the face of your teacher, your classmates, and the classroom. Then move on to the action. Imagine pulling a ticket, sitting down at a table, getting ready, and answering.

Your brain needs to understand that it is not in danger. The more detailed you can imagine the situation on the exam, the faster the fear will go away.

Ask people who have already passed

If you know people who have already taken the test, take the opportunity to do so. Make a list of questions in advance that worry you and discuss them with someone you know. If you don’t know anyone, ask students in the university or department’s social media community. Seniors like to share their experiences. First-hand information will put you at ease and give you an idea of what to expect on the exam.

Prepare for Exams

Nothing calms test fears like good preparation. Hard work throughout the year and before the exam is sure to pay off. You will feel much more confident and comfortable when you’ll buy research papers in advance than those students who lectured once the night before the exam.

Be prepared to fail.

Any student, even an excellent student, is not immune to a failing grade. The fear of failure keeps you from concentrating on your preparation during the exam. To avoid such a situation, imagine what will happen if you fail. That’s right, first, you have to retake the exam. However, some instructors go out of their way to allow you to draw an extra ticket right in the exam.

When you realize that failing the exam is not so terrible, you will relax and be able to prepare in peace, because you will have another chance.

Don’t be a perfectionist

Some students panic begins during an exam when they can’t remember a term or definition. They get hung up on it and forget all the other information. Remember: no one can learn all lectures and textbooks by heart. Allow yourself to be wrong. If you can’t remember something, skip it, or tell it in your own words.

Don’t get yourself worked up.

This is probably the hardest point of all. When you’re scared, it’s very difficult to control the flow of negative thoughts in your head. To stop it, you need to do a special exercise. As soon as you feel the fear of exams creeping up, name five things you hear, see, and feel with your skin. Thinking “here and now” will banish the negative emotions.


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