Exams (especially finals) are a serious challenge. They almost always cause stress, and this must somehow be coped with. Short-term stress can still be endured, but it is already difficult to endure constant stress that lasts almost the entire year.
There are many causes of stress. Most of us live in big cities, where everything around is a real cause for concern: the metro, traffic jams, crowds of people, and noise. Add to all this the fear of examinations, anxiety about a first love, and criticism from teachers or parents, and we have all the ingredients for long-term stress. But in some ways, stress can be useful.
- During stress, our brain works better, as the connection between neurons (nerve cells) is strengthened.
- Stress enhances immunity (but if stress is chronic, the body’s defense weakens).
- Stress is a kind of simulator for our psyche and emotions.
- Stress helps to become motivated. This is the so-called eustress – useful stress, in which there is no time for reflection. Moreover, all the internal resources are devoted to the elimination of the problem and the achievement of the result.
How to cope with stress before the exam
The difficulty of dealing with stress arises from the fact that it manifests itself in different ways for everyone, so everyone deals with it differently. There is no magical cure for pre-exam stress, but there are ways that greatly help in getting over it.
1. Hope for the best, and get ready for the best, too. You do not need to program yourself with thoughts like, “how horrible it would be if I didn’t pass the exam,” “parents will be very disappointed,” or “I’m so badly prepared that I won’t pass.” Forget these phrases immediately like a bad dream. And start thinking positively, because everything starts with our internal feelings. If you think you can do it, you will. It is necessary to speak to oneself more often: “If I put maximum effort into achieving a result, everything will definitely work out.” And be sure not to forget to praise yourself even for small successes.
2. Create an exam image. To reduce the likelihood that you will forget whether it is possible to divide by zero, try to simulate the situation of the exam as accurately as possible. Step by step, mentally live out the day: you go into the class, sit at the desk, get the sheet with tasks, and so on. The more detailed your imagination will be, the less panic you will have on that important day.
3. Take test exams. This is a great workout. An Olympic champion does not immediately take part in the Olympiad and receive the gold. Prior to that, he or she passes smaller competitions. Imagine that the exam is a kind of Olympiad, and test work is the opportunity to perform at simpler competitions and gain the necessary experience.
4. Have a rest. Have you not seen your friends for a few months? Do you learn material 24 hours a day? If so, this is bad – you need to fix it urgently! Your nervous system is not a perpetual motion machine, and the body simply needs rest. By the way, do you know that rest can also be a change of activity? Switch to something active: skiing, swimming, dancing, or running. This will help you gain energy. Playing at a computer is not the best idea. The brain needs oxygen, and the body needs physical activity.
5. Engage in creativity. Yes, it is creativity that is considered one of the most effective ways to deal with stress. No wonder many famous artists and writers have created masterpieces in those periods of life that are clearly not calm. Have you long wanted to learn to draw, write a poem, sing, or dance? Do not be afraid to spend a couple hours a week on these activities, as it will only benefit.
6. Get healthy nutrition and good sleep. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages during stressful periods of life, and give up fast carbohydrates (buns, chocolate, cookies, chips, and other delights you should leave for later). Try to eat more protein, and replace harmful sweets with honey and nuts. Your memory and attention will be grateful to you! By the way, Greek yogurt, nuts, avocados, fish, blueberries, and cinnamon are very useful for the memory.
7. Leave other assignments to professionals. If you want to have more time to prepare for the exam but need to deal with other tasks, such as essay writing, then you need to get help from a cheap custom writing service. In this way, you will have enough time to be fully prepared for the exam.