How To Deal with Exam Stress? Experts Share 13 Best Ways

Is exam stress kicking in every now and then? Don’t worry it is normal. But we have Dr. Barnali Ghosh, Clinical Psychologist, Manipal Hospital, to share the best ways to stay calm and beat the stress.

Board exams ahead? Stress, anxiety, and tension can make your mind feel extremely tired at this point in time. But one needs to be prepared to deal with it, say experts. We spoke to Dr. Barnali Ghosh, Clinical Psychologist, Manipal Hospital Salt Lake, Kolkata, to understand the best ways a student facing board examinations can deal with stress and anxiety.

According to the experts, stress, anxiety, and tension are all-natural outcomes of pressure over something big coming ahead. And board exams are such things that can make a student worry about the questions, his/her preparedness, etc. In one sentence, exam stress is a response to the pressure built up on them.

13 Ways To Deal With Exam Stress

As board exams are nearing, take a look at the 10 effective ways in which you can manage the levels of stress and anxiety and remain cool before, and during the exams.

  1. Identifying the stressors- Chart those down and try to navigate around them.
  2. Parents-teacher participation- Parents and teachers must talk to the students to get an idea about the kind of pressure they are facing and to deal with the stress in a positive manner. (This is an idealistic situation, not realistic; redundant point)
  3. Delay cause of stress- Asking oneself to deal with the stress later and not to react promptly as stress reduces mental alacrity

Maintain a health-study balance-

  1. Maintain a healthy diet- Avoid stress /binge eating and concentrate on normal food intake Also try to eat at regular intervals.
  2. Maintain sleep hygiene- Maintaining normal sleeping hours is vital to stay fresh and recharged. A minimum of 6-7 hrs of nighttime sleep or at least 5-6hrs plus 1hr of an afternoon nap
  3. Rejuvenating the mind & body- A small break between the studies is vital to refresh the mind. It's best to avoid indulging in anything that may hyper the mind rather than calm it.
  4. Continue with some form of outdoor activities even if for lesser time- Those who don't or can't do some indoor physical activity/exercise. This help in releasing tensions in the body that gets cramped after prolonged same posture during studying & energizes the mind further.

Understand your own study pattern-

  1. Avoid the last-minute rush- Studying for 12-15 hours a day all of a sudden and changing the normal routine may affect performance.
  2. Plan ahead- this is for all especially those who don't follow a routine. This gives better control over the study pattern & lowers anxiety.
  3. Getting to know the strengths- Encourage the students to follow their own study patterns instead of trying to follow the ideal method. Thus a night owl will be more stressed if forced to become a morning bird. However, the lateness can be negotiated by stressing the significance of sleep in reducing stress.
  4. Avoid drastic routine changes- Sudden change in lifestyle patterns to cover the syllabus is counterproductive, will increase stress, and may reduce performance.
  5. Focus on the 'here & now' rather than the outcome - One's study hours, routine, etc are in one's control; the result is dependent on external variables viz the examiner, luck, etc.
  6. Maintain a congenial home environment- Try & avoid conflicts and arguments for your sake.

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