As the new semester begins, the campus becomes crowded and busy. Very soon, you may be busy with papers, projects, laboratory reports, theses and mid-term exams. Besides schoolwork, you may be occupied with various extracurricular activities and social gatherings as well. Suddenly, you may realize that the final examinations are just around the corner.
At this time, some of you may feel overwhelmed and experience various kinds of stress symptoms such as headache, poor appetite, irritability or insomnia. While an optimal level of pressure can enhance efficiency and productivity, excessive stress can produce physical and psychological disturbances as well as adversely affect your exam performance.
Before exam approaches, it is worthwhile to take the following precautionary measures to manage your exam stress as well as enhance your exam performance.
Last minute cramping does not sound like a good idea. Apart from arousing your anxiety and nervousness, it can also produce negative emotions, such as worry, frustration, fear, guilt and loss of self-confidence which can affect your efficiency and performance. Students with more perceived control of time have less stress and better performance.
Make Concrete Plans
Make specific and concrete revision plans well in advance of the examination. Your plan should include a detailed listing of targeted subjects and study material, achievable goals as well as a realistic revision schedule.
Set Realistic Goals
It would be important to assess your own ability before setting your goals. Establishing realistic expectations can reduce unnecessary stress. With limited time available, priority setting is also necessary. You must set your goals and compile a ‘Things-To-Do’ list according to each item’s urgency and importance.
When you encounter difficulties in your studies, don’t ignore them or allow them to accumulate. It is always a good practice to ask and discuss problems with classmates, friends, tutors and professors regularly. Forming a small study group or a buddy-buddy system is also highly recommended.
When you complete a task satisfactorily, treat yourself a nice meal or movie, buy yourself a small gift, go out on a date, etc. When you feel exhausted and frustrated, take a break by listening to music, eating snacks or chatting with friends. You need to treat yourself well especially when undergoing stress.
When you feel tense, do some physical exercise or sports activities such as jogging, swimming, hiking or playing ballgames. Any of these activities can help you release tension and relax. Regular exercise not only keeps you in shape, but also enhances your ability to overcome stress in daily life.
Eat and Rest Well
During exam period, it is important not to skip meals. It is equally important to ensure that you get adequate rest and sleep to stay in top form.