Best Ways to Overcome Exam Stress and Ace the Test

6 Effective Tips on Scoring in H2 Chemistry Paper 1 (P1)
September 16, 2020

Even the most prepared students will deal with stage fright before taking a test. There are always anxieties about the nature of questions that will be asked and whether these are going to play to the student’s strengths.

For others, anxiety is so overpowering that it actually has a profound negative effect on exam performance.

Are you one of these students who panic way too much and simply cannot concentrate due to nervousness? If so, you’ll have to try and master some of the best strategies for calming down, overcoming exam anxiety and giving the test your all.

Focus on Time Management First and Foremost

One of the biggest sources of anxiety is the limited amount of time that students have for the completion of the test.

To make sure you’re never again going to experience such an issue, prioritise time management.

Time management improves through practice and a strategic way of tackling the exam questions.

Each student has their own approach for handling tests but generally speaking, a few steps will always be beneficial. When getting the exam, scan through the entire thing. Pinpoint the questions you can handle quickly and the ones that are more complex.

Also, pay attention to the number of questions and the timeframe for the completion of the exam. This way, you can pace yourself and decide exactly how many minutes you’re going to allocate to each of the questions.

From that point forward, two approaches are possible. Some students like to tackle the easy questions first. Once these are out of the way, they concentrate on the more challenging problems. An alternative approach would be to deal with the difficult questions first, leaving the easy ones to the end of the exam.

Whichever strategy you adopt, do not forget to pace yourself and move on from one question to another to enjoy enough time.

Focus on Your Physical Well-Being and Comfort

Your physical wellbeing can affect your psyche and your ability to concentrate. If you haven’t slept enough, chances are that you’ll feel even more stressed out on the exam day.

The preparations to handle anxiety should actually commence on the day before the test. End your revision early enough. Enjoy a good meal with your family in the evening and have a relaxing shower or bath before going to bed. Make sure you’re getting a sufficient number of sleep hours if you want to be at your sharpest the next day.

It’s still possible to feel nervous on the day of the exam, even if you’ve taken enough time to relax previously. If this happens, do a few breathing exercises.

Breathe in slowly, hold the air inside your lungs and release. Repeat the exercise a few times. Slow, deep breathing will help you control your heartbeat. This can in turn help you feel a little bit better and not as stressed.

Take a Break

Panic can easily set in when you feel that you’re not mastering the topic you have to study for your exam.

The more you panic, the more difficult it will become to learn anything. Hence, you can spend hours on the subject matter without making any progress. Needless to say, that will make you even more stressed.

Research shows time and time again that taking breaks is essential to boost cognitive abilities. The human brain can maintain focus for a limited amount of time. If you keep pushing yourself beyond that point, you will definitely see cognition deteriorating.

Schedule study sessions of 30 minutes to an hour and have a 10 to 15-minute break after each one.

The same approach can be employed during the exam itself.

If you feel that you simply cannot reach the correct answer for a question and you’re stuck, move on to something else. This approach will allow your brain to “refocus,” which will increase your ability to tackle the difficult problem later on.

Try to Put Your Worries into Perspective

Feeling anxious and stressed out is a normal human response to a challenging situation. When you think rationally about it, however, you can take away a lot of anxiety’s power.

Is stress helping you in any way? The short answer is no? Being fearful and worried about your performance will not improve it in any way.

So, what exactly are you stressed about? Do you worry that the subject is one you struggle with and you’ll find the exam questions too challenging? If so, begin your preparations early enough. A high quality chemistry tutoring option can also help you prepare.

Are you worried about your ability to concentrate when you have a time restraint imposed on you? Once again, practice can help you beat that negative emotion.

Worrying doesn’t solve anything. Learning and taking good care of your mind and body do.

When you notice yourself getting too anxious, ask a simple question – what’s the worst thing that could happen? Looking at the situation realistically will always show you that your fears are much more far-fetched than reality.

These are a few of the best strategies to overcome exam stress once and for all.

By focusing on these techniques in the days prior to the test and on the exam day itself, you’ll find it much easier to beat your nerves and boost your confidence. A large part of successful test taking is believing in your skills. Adding good time management to the mix will also make you feel in control, allowing you to perform to the best of your ability.