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How do I deal with exam anxiety?

A little excitement can improve your performance during an exam, but if your nervousness turns into anxiety it can affect your performance badly. Student coach from CBS guides you to what to be aware of, to put your anxiety under control.

|   29. May 2017

For some going to an exam is a piece of cake, for others not so much. Sweaty palms, a heart pounding so hard it’s almost visible from under the t-shirt and the fear of going blank are some of the classic symptoms of exam anxiety.

The causes for exam anxiety can according to an article published by the National Student Counselling Service (Studenterrådgivningen) be linked to some of these things:

  • Being generally anxious
  • Being poorly prepared
  • You’ve had a bad experience in a previous exam
  • You’re a perfectionist – anything less than a 12 grade is a failure.

Mette Gøtterup-Tang, student coach at CBS, recommends to think through, why you might experience anxiety up to or during an exam in order to change the outcome to the better.

And there are according to the her and the National Student Counselling Service a lot you can do.

  • Make sure to set aside plenty of time for revision and studying and plan it. And make sure to know where you can find additional information about the exam – if needed.
  • Learn in advance how to relax. If you begin to feel the panic, you know how to regain control. To learn this you might want to download the app from the Student Counselling Service called “Exam stress” (Eksamenshjælp) from app store or Google play. This app guides you through exercises and give good advice on how to tackle exam anxiety.
  • Try to avoid working close to the exam – like the night or morning before. Do something relaxing like going for a walk, have a bath, talk to someone.
  • On the day of exam, make yourself comfortable. Wear something nice and comfortable, take a few deep breaths and sighs to release tension. Maybe sit with your eyes closed for a little while.
  • Be aware of any negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. “I can do this.” “I will do my best.”

On the day of exam, it is completely normal to feel the nerves. And it’s a good thing. A slight bit of stress will help you work, think faster and more effectively, and improve your performance, writes the Student Psychological Services at University College London.

So, it’s not all bad with a few butterflies in your stomach. As along, as they don’t fill up the entire body.

When the exam is over with the National Student Counselling Service also advise you to relax.

“Remember to allow yourself to enjoy the fact that the examination is over, and praise yourself for your efforts. Try and take the rest of the day off after the examination – even if a new is approaching,” they write.

Have a nice exam.

How do I deal with exam anxiety?by

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