Going into the exam room, I took my roll number slip from the examiner and walked towards my desk. As I sat down, I noticed the girl sitting in my left row clearly shivering, her hands clenched into fists, and her face turning pale. I was surprised; I'd never encountered such a strange incident before. The teacher started delivering exam sheets, and I turned my attention back to her.
Later, as I sat in my room, in front of my laptop, I decided to do some research on what I had seen. So I came to know about this particular phobia, named as "Exam phobia".
Definition: A phobia caused due to the fear of examination, usually to students, and has symptoms that can be easily seen and observed. It is the irrational or very powerful fear and dislike exams
Symptoms: To know whether exam phobia is the barrier in you way of achieving good grades, read the following symptoms carefully.
- Psychological symptoms:
- If you get stressed about exams?
- If you have nightmares of sitting at a desk and not being able to answer a single question?
- You feel tense, great fear and a sense of unease and distress.
- Near exams, you often feel anger, you experience lack of concentration during study which affects the memory in terms of understanding, memorizing and recalling the knowledge you have gathered.
- When exams are near you often complain about rigid mind and lack of thinking which causes excessive worry.
- Loss of appetite and sleep may also be symptoms of exam anxiety and fear.
- Physical symptoms:
- Your heartbeat increases.
- You throat becomes dry.
- You have difficulty in breathing.
- You start sweating, trembling and your limbs become cold.
- You suffer from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
- You become a victim of frequent urination.
- Behavioral symptoms:
- You are adopting a behavior that reduces level of anxiety such as oversleeping, absence from school and exam or absorption in television and games.
Factors leading to Exam Phobia:
Among the factors leading to exam anxiety are:
- You have lack of self-confidence.
- You have not prepared for exams from the beginning of the year.
- Subject difficulty, time constraints and difficult exam questions might be your cause.
- You have misconceptions about exam. Your fear of exams forces you to think and make horrible conclusions about exams.
- You're not satisfied with examination methodology and procedures.
- You are always predicting your failure. You think you know that you're going to fail, no matter what.
- You're afraid of your parents' reactions, disappointment and punishment as well.
What should be done?
Here are some tips that will help you overcome exam phobia:
- Before the exam:
- Make an outline of a study program or schedule that enables you to manage your time and prepare well.
- Place the outline of a study program or schedule that enables you to manage your time and prepare well.
- Take care of your health: Take your healthy meals, enough sleep and rest at regular intervals during study. Do exercises to refresh and reactivate yourself and stimulate memory.
- You should be strong spiritually. Religion gives you strength in this form. So say your prayers regularly and seek help from God Almighty, as religious rites enhance self-confidence and give strength to face difficulties.
- Get to bed early on the night before the exam to get a clear mind, as scientific studies suggest that sleep regulates mind and focuses memory.
- Just Before Entering The Exam Room:
- You should take a certain period of time before the exam if you feel that you want to talk about your anxiety with your teachers, parents or trustworthy friends.
- Take slow, deep breaths before you enter the exam room. Breathe in slowly for a count of 7 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Then breathe out slowly for 7 seconds. This can really help you calm down and feel more relaxed.
- If you're feeling a build-up of nerves and adrenaline when you're queuing up to enter the exam room, shake it out! Bend over at the waist and shake the top part of your body, including your arms and your head. This will help your muscles relax and as an added bonus, it gets more blood to the brain. Don't do it so much that you get dizzy and don't do it in the exam room!
- During the exam:
- Avoid energy drinks or boosters, as they contain a massive amount of caffeine and sugar, which increases the degree of tension.
- Use relaxation exercise by taking a deep breaths in and then release it slowly, this will help you focus.
- Put your watch in front of you, and allocate time to answer according to the number of the questions so that no question overpasses the time of another.
- Make sure you have all the necessary stationery and other tools with you during exam. This will save your time.
- Read the questions accurately and carefully more than once to make sure you completely understand what is required.
- Start by answering the easy questions and leave what you do not know until you answer the questions that you know.
- Allocate a specific time for each answer and pay attention that the answers must be in accordance with the wording of each question.
- Do not worry if you see your class mates rising and handing over the answer sheets and you still write. Most of those who finish early, end with low grades, and you have to exploit the rest of time to think and answer to the questions well.
- Read again the questions and your answers carefully to make sure you did not leave any questions unanswered.
- After The Exam:
- When you leave the exam, do not discuss with your friends the subject you have finished because this will increase your stress and affect the other exams that you will go through next.