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Tips for students to overcome exam anxiety, brain fog and math phobia

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Feb 24, 2023 01:54 PM IST

With the ongoing board examinations, experts share some simple yet effective steps for students to manage stress, exam anxiety, brain fog and math phobia and perform well.

Exam anxiety has always been a natural response by the students with the prospect of examinations and this year the stress on the students is more than the usual, especially for students who will be appearing for the offline exam after two years. Lack of writing practice, pressure to score well, increased social media usage and insufficient exposure to the exam environment are some of the factors that have heightened stress and anxiety amongst students.

Tips for students to overcome exam anxiety, brain fog and math phobia (Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels)

We have been seeing that exam anxiety is becoming a common issue among students, especially those who are preparing for important examinations and these feelings of fear, nervousness and apprehension can hinder a student's ability to perform well during an exam. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Anand Prakash, Co-Founder of Vedantu, explained, “One of the main reasons for exam anxiety is the fear of failure. Students often feel immense pressure to perform well as their grades and academic success depend on it.”

He elaborated, “The lasting consequences of a child’s performance at such a young age adds to this stress. This pressure can lead to anxiety, which can in turn affect their ability to think clearly and recall information during the exam. Another cause of exam anxiety is lack of preparation. Students who have not adequately studied for an exam may feel anxious because they are unsure of their abilities. They may also feel overwhelmed by the amount of material they need to study in the limited time they have.”

Highlighting that exam anxiety can manifest some physical symptoms such as sweating, shaking and rapid heartbeat, as well as mental symptoms, such as racing thoughts that make focusing difficult, he shared that some students even experience panic attacks before or during an exam, which can be very distressing. He suggested, “There are several ways to combat exam anxiety. First and foremost, students should be academically and physically prepared, well in advance. This includes reviewing notes and textbooks, completing practice questions, eating healthy and getting enough rest in the days leading up to the exam. One can also use relaxation techniques like breathing exercises and meditation to calm the mind and body. Overcoming the fear of failure by learning to grow from every misstep is crucial and finally, support from friends, family or a mental health professional can be very helpful for managing exam anxiety. It is important for students to remember that they are not alone in this experience.”

With the ongoing board examinations, Manan Khurma, Founder and Chairman of Cuemath, recommended some simple yet effective steps for students to manage stress and perform well:

1. Self-assess your strengths and weaknesses and understand which subjects are your strength and which require more practice. This can make a huge difference in your overall performance and can help you achieve your desired goals.

2. Follow LPAR - Learning, Practice, Assessment and Revision in place of rote memorization techniques to become familiar with the exam pattern, and avoid any surprises

3. Attempt mock papers/tests to understand your preparedness and identify gaps you need to bridge.

4. Take breaks between long study hours - a fresh mind is quick and absorbs more

5. Ensure proper sleep, especially the night before the examination

6. Practice writing every day to improve the speed and the appearance of your handwriting.

7. Restrict your social media usage to enhance concentration

These strategies will help you prepare better and will also boost your confidence while taking the examinations.

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