Replace pre-exam fear, Anxiety & Stress with Awareness, Positivity & Discipline

19 February, 2021

Exam season is just around the corner! As it is, the year gone by has been stressful on many levels and regular student routines, classroom learnings and exam preparations have been disrupted and now it’s time for the BIG MOMENT – Exams!!!

We recommend replacing stressful pre-exam triggers with positive practices for exam success:

1. Replace fear with awareness
2. Replace anxiety with positivity
3. Replace stress with discipline

Replace fear with awareness 
Awareness is the first step toward any progression in life. Let’s remember that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This is one of the simple rules by which the world works. For example – if you have a Mathematics examination coming up and you have been concentrating during the class, completing all the assignments on time and spending around 30 minutes everyday on practicing your numbers, the journey toward your goal of doing well in your exam will be easier because you have already put in the correct actions to expect a positive reaction. If you have been distracted during class, missing your assignments and avoiding disciplined practice, you have to work harder now to catch up!

In this context, awareness means looking at your study schedule with integrity and making a plan to improve yourself and reach your goal faster. If you find yourself struggling with motivation, talk to friends or teachers or reach out to mentors to help you plan your study schedule based on where you are. Asking for guidance and help is not a sign of weakness but an inherent sign of strength. This awareness will hold you in good stead when you enroll yourself in courses like engineering, or alternatives to engineering, job training programs etc. Be aware of what your goal is for your exams, and beyond, and understand where you are in the journey towards reaching it.

Replace anxiety with positivity
In the days leading up to your exams, avoid any triggers that induce anxiety in you.
For example – the world will not come to an end if you reduce the amount of time spent reading
COVID-19 related news and playing videogames for a month. Deliberating about continuous news feeds, will trigger unnecessary anxiety within you which does nothing to help you with your exams. Plus, the video games you are playing are firing your neurons and making you too tired to concentrate when you eventually have to sit down to study.

Instead, make a list of simple things that will boost positivity in your daily routine and will help your mind focus when it needs to study. This includes exercise, spending time in nature, any meditative practice, deep breathing, Yoga, chanting or pursuing any creative hobby of yours.

Surround yourself with positive people who believe in your success and avoid talking to people who drain you off your positive energy. Better still, get yourself a study buddy – someone who has similar academic goals as yourself and mutually report your project and plan with each other.  Aim high alongside motivated people who would like to be associated with esteemed institutions like those who aspire to get a degree from BITS Pilani or a Sastra University degree certificate.

Replace stress with discipline 
Stress is not exclusively for adults. It can affect children and youth as well! Did you know that chronic stress can lead to inflammation, depression and disease? Every lethargic action and negative thought of ours affects our body and mind in subtle ways that impede our eventual success. While stress cannot be 100% avoided, disciplined routines can combat stress and boost well-being and productivity.

Research indicates that it takes around 21-48 days for the human mind to adapt well to a routine. Take for example, the simple act of brushing your teeth. You have been doing this as soon as you wake up in the morning, ever since you were a child, so much so that it has become a natural part of your life. You will certainly not hear anyone say that they find it stressful to brush their teeth? They just do it. Similarly, if you continually repeat routines in your day – they will become natural extensions of your life.

What are some of the routines you can add to your life? Continually practice the habit of allotting specific times for practicing your Mathematics, reading motivational texts or practicing your music in time slots of 25 minutes a day. Remember how we spoke about the Pomodoro technique in a previous blog! How about taking a 21-day challenge of waking up at 5.00 am every day to study.

While the time period leading up to exams are usually associated with fear, anxiety, stress and tension, a powerful combination of a shift in our attitude and simple lifestyle routines can help us associate this time period as one of awareness, positivity and discipline. Whatever your future goals are post high-school, be it enrolling in college or an early career program like HCL TechBee – these positive practices will help you stay focused and productive whatever you choose to do.

Wishing you the best of luck for your successful exam preparation and performance!

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