WHY DO PEOPLE GET STRESSED ABOUT EXAMS?
When we’re put under pressure by school, university, work, family, or even ourselves, it’s common to feel stressed.
There may be worries about meeting deadlines, getting good grades, or anxieties about the future. Even once you’ve done an exam, the anticipation of receiving the results can make it difficult to switch off.
These feelings can quickly build up and get on top of us, making us feel run down or constantly on edge.
Stress triggers a response in the body known as “fight-or-flight”. That’s when your body believes there is a threat, and reacts by releasing stress hormones. These can make your heart beat faster and increase your blood pressure – resulting in a burst of energy.
Usually, once a perceived threat has passed our nervous system returns to normal, but when we’re faced with constant stressors we can remain in a state of fight-or-flight. This feeling of extra vigilance can be draining and can have an effect on our physical and emotional health. It’s also why long periods of exams, tests, or training can feel particularly intense and make it hard to switch off.
Here are some tips to help you cope with exam stress:
- Try not to compare yourself to others
- Set realistic expectations – what is possible, what is out of your control?
- Try not to think too far into the future
- Focus on the present
- Take regular breaks and schedule things to look forward to
- Speak to someone about how you’re feeling
- Stay connected with friends and family
- Make time for physical exercise
- Keep your workspace as clear as possible
- Do activities that help you unwind at the end of the day.