Exams are naturally stressful even for the smartest of takers. It's normal for anyone to have the jitters before taking an exam. While others can easily overcome such, unfortunately, some experience way more anxiety than others. This can start from little twitches in the tummy that develop into feelings of worry and self-doubt, and, eventually, into more serious conditions. When anxiety takes over your system, it can totally destroy your focus.
That said, you need to prepare for your test early. Preparation doesn't only pertain to mental preparation, but a holistic one involving your physical and emotional facets. Here's how you can do so:
1. Create A Study Schedule
This is where a planner or organizer is going to come in handy. Easing out whatever anxiety you may have also means preparing early and creating a study schedule. When your professors are giving you the schedule of exams early on, take advantage of this by making a timetable.
Having a study schedule ensures that you cover all the topics you need to master. It also enables you to have enough time to take breaks in between. Preparing for an exam doesn't only mean spending every single hour studying. This isn't going to do you any good. You need to take even just a short 20-minute break every once in a while so you can rest your mind and re-energize yourself for the next study session.
2. Coordinate All Your Study Materials
You don't need a hundred books for you to be able to study well. It's not about the number but the quality of study materials you have. Gather and coordinate these study materials early on and stick to them
Examples of necessary study materials are the following:
- Study guides as these work like course outlines to guide you through the most important topics you ought to learn
- Books, such as those recommended by your teachers or used during discussions
- Handouts that summarize important points of long discussions
- Personal notes
No matter how busy your schedule may be, always give yourself time to exercise. You can do this early in the morning before you get around your day, or at night as you wind down. If you don't have the extra time, you can even insert this during your 20-minute break.
Exercising has terrific effects in calming your brain. Being physically active improves your mood and helps you relax better. Plus, it also increases productivity. This comes in handy when you start to notice that while studying, you're already losing your focus.
4. Study In Similar Places
Not everyone has a photographic memory. But, you can help your brain have better recall of everything you've studied through location and time association. Spending time studying at places that are similar to areas where you're going to take the exams can help improve your recall of topics. Even better, come test day, you no longer feel anxious about the new surroundings.
5. Speak To Loved Ones Or Mentors
It applies especially if you're preparing for a really big exam. When you've got the jitters, it helps you to calm down when you talk to family, friends, or mentors. These mentors don't have to be prominent professionals. They can even be friends of yours who are a few years older and have taken the exam - especially major or career and course-specific exams - way before you have. Speak with these people about all the concerns running through your mind. When you do, you will be surprised by the amount of support and pieces of advice you'll receive from them.
Remember that you're not alone in this journey. You've got a whole pack of family and friends right behind you that you can talk to any time and from whom you can draw inspiration More than the tips they can give you, their love can help cheer you on when you feel the exam already seems too much for you to handle.
It's reasonable to be under a lot of stress and tension when preparing for something major. Anxiety can easily affect your capacity to think and focus, making it extra difficult for you to achieve your goals. Even though you've done all the necessary preparations, come the big day, you might forget everything that you've learned along the way. You don't want all your efforts to go to vain, do you?
The above-mentioned tips can help you achieve that holistic preparation needed for you to stay calm during your exam. They are easy steps you can take for a worry-free examination experience.