Controlling study and exam anxiety – FREE study guide too!
April 26, 2022 10:29 am
Written by Jon Dodson, Redmill Advance for Professional Paraplanner
Jon Dodson, Redmill Advance, looks at why many people experience study and exam anxiety. There are ways to control it, he says.
Assuming someone wants to study, there’s generally two things that can hold them back.
When it comes to professional qualifications, anxiety normally has two triggers – it can be a fear of failure or a fear of the exam experience.
The examination room experience will generate a little anxiety in almost all candidates – the key thing to learn here is this – it is ok and is completely natural. It may be a little uncomfortable in the short term but essentially it’s your body giving you everything you need to deal with the situation – the chemicals to be alert and sharp. Interestingly enough, chemically your body doesn’t know the difference between anxiety and excitement and some people harness this in nervous situations.
Much of the anxiety here comes from a fear of the unknown – ultimately you don’t know the questions that are coming your way and in that sense you are out of control.
Here’s the brilliant news – you can control pretty much everything else within the invigilation rules… from the seemingly trivial (what you wear, what you take in to eat and drink, what pens you use, how you sit etc) to your approach to the exam itself.
Here’s an example of an exam approach that you can use for all multiple choice exams – you can and should practice this several times in a timed/mock environment before your examination proper:
You are going to go through the exam three times and here’s how each run-through will work…
At the end of your first run through your confidence should be boosted by getting some points in the bag. You’ve also been efficient with your time.
To summarise, most anxiety stems from a fear of a lack of control. In an examination situation, we cannot control the questions we are going to get and we need to be ok with that. Everything else is in our gift to control!
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