One of the most stressful times of a student’s year is exam week. The sleepless nights and rummaging through notes trying to figure out what to expect or what to not waste your time on can be overwhelming.
Because it is such a crucial time, it is so important to promote a positive mindset during exam week. Without a positive mindset, the stress can be crippling. And it can be worse if you already suffer from test anxiety on a normal test!
Below are a few tips on how to foster a positive mindset during exam time.
After you’ve done all the necessary studying, envision yourself being successful after the exam. When you envision yourself completing the exam in a happy state with successful results it can help you feel more calm and prepared during your test taking. This practice is called visualization. Psychologically, you set yourself up for a positive ending and therefore feel empowered throughout your exam and put in your best effort. Actually picture yourself turning in your exam smiling, going home, and eating ice cream or hanging out with friends.
Visualizing your success can also remind you that even though exam week is tough, it is temporary and you have what it takes to make it through.
Right before an exam, try not to converse with other students. Talking to other people may increase your own anxiety. When others share with you their concerns and worries, you may be affected by new negative thoughts that you were not thinking of before. Instead, prepare a pre-exam ritual that is calming and helps you feel more positive and motivated for your exam. This can include positive mantras, visualization, a small snack, or even some light stretches.
Usually, after students finish an exam, they ask each other for the results or thoughts on how it went. However, when you are comparing your results with others, even if you are more successful than them, you may end up feeling more anxious for other exams.
Not only do you have to live up to your own expectations but you’ll also afraid to be ridiculed by other classmates. Refrain from sharing your exam scores, even if you do well, so that others are not a custom to asking you for your results. This way, you have one less thing to be concerned about during such a hectic time.
What is the worst that can happen?
If your pre-exam anxiety gets really bad, and you struggle with anxiety normally, it may be helpful to have an honest conversation with a friend or school counselor. During the conversation, discuss the prospect of, “What is the worst that can happen?”
Asking and rationalizing the answer to this question can help you realize that, even if the worst case scenario were to happen, you have the strength and ability to overcome those challenges.
Find a positive coping mechanism during the week. Whether that means listening to something positive, having a good workout, or taking a stroll outside, make sure to schedule some selfcare time to clear your mind between exam days.