7 Best Ways To Relieve Exam Stress or Test Anxiety

May 10, 2021 Students

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”- Bill Cosby

As a student, you learn all the lessons and take care of all the notes in class. So, you must be confident to do well in the exam. But, that is not the case with all of you. Most of the students feel nervous and exam stress before or even during the exam. So, what is exam stress? Can exams cause anxiety? How to relieve stress and anxiety during exams? In this article, you are going to find some of the best tips on test anxiety. These tips will help you relieve exam stress.

Also, we are going to find out the answers to all the common questions related to exam stress.

Why Are Exams So Stressful?

  • Exams can be stressful for students for various reasons. The most common reasons are:
  • Failing to recall a large amount of information.
  • Not enough preparation or study time before the exam.
  • Fear of living up to high expectations set by parents or self.
  • Fear of failure.
  • Feeling the pressure of competition.
  • The pressure to earn money quickly due to the low financial status of the family.

 What Are The Symptoms of Exam Stress?

Every student feels the pressure of exams. But, for some students, the pressure turns into anxiety and stress. So, what does test anxiety look like? Here is a list of the common symptoms of test anxiety:

  • Losing faith and confidence in oneself.
  • Feeling of fear, worry, and anxiety all the time.
  • Not keeping in touch with friends.
  • Over-eating or not eating at all
  • Losing motivation to study.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Getting depressed for no reason.
  • Breathing hard.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Lack of concentration while studying.
  • Test panic attacks.

What Are The Effects of Exam Stress?

Excessive stress or worry of any kind can have several harmful effects. Test anxiety can lower the self-esteem of the students. Constant worrying results in poor memory and poor performance in the exam. Besides, this can affect the students’ mental health by making them unable to cope with fear or anxiety for life. So, it is important to beat the stress the moment one can see the signs of it.

How Do You Relieve Exam Stress and Anxiety?

It is natural for students of any page to feel a little pressure from studying and exams. Besides, every student tends to feel exam result tension. But, excessive stress from studying and stress during exams need special attention. So, students need to learn exam stress management techniques. These can help them beat both pre-exam stress and stress during the exam.

7 Best Ways To Relieve Exam Stress or Test Anxiety

1) Be Optimistic and Think Positive

Anxiety arises out of fear. One feels threatened and starts worrying about things unnecessarily. Being optimistic helps to gain confidence in oneself. You need to feel good about yourself and your qualities. Moreover, feeling blessed and having gratitude towards life can make you feel how privileged you are. Feel your mind with thoughts like, “I can do this”, “I have the skills”, and “I have prepared well for the exam.” Exams have been always a part of your life and you have faced the situations before. So, you don’t need to worry about midterm stress or final exam stress. Also, don’t worry about the results or anything else. Just be confident and feel positive all the time.

2) Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises can help anyone feel relaxed and calm in any situation. This can help you overcome exam stress. So, the moment you see the signs of exam stress, inhale to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 7. This is one of the best exam stress relief techniques.

3) Stop High Expectations

The most common reason for test anxiety in college students is having high expectations of themselves. Make your mind accept that it is okay not to be perfect. Make your goals and set your expectations based on reality. It is okay to make mistakes and it is okay not to be the best. If you read the stories of great achievers, you will find how many times they have failed in life. We all know the story of Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb. When a reporter questioned him about failing 1000 times, he simply answered, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” So, be realistic to accept your failure but never stop trying.

4) Prepare Yourself Well Before Exam

The most important thing to remember while dealing with test anxiety is that, if you are well-prepared to face any question paper, then you will not feel the stress. Many students do not follow the right method to study. So, they either tend to forget what they learn or find themselves half-prepared before an exam. Make a routine to study regularly with the help of your parents and teachers. Make sure to learn one lesson of one or 2 subjects in a day. You can first read the notes or a chapter to understand the content.  Then make a note of important questions. Next, learn the answers. For this, first, learn and then try to recall each answer more than once. You can even write down the answers. Once you complete the whole chapter, you can take a self-test to assess yourself. Also, take a self-assessment of each subject before the exam. This kind of methodical study will help in overcoming test anxiety for life.

5) Treat Yourself or Go for an Outing

Many students feel that keeping away from the things they like can help them increase their focus. But that is not the case. If you keep yourself happy and chirpy, you will be able to recall information easily. So, how to distress before a test? Treat yourself along with your friends. Also, you can go out to a place you feel happy or calm. Do not deprive yourself of the simple things that make you feel happy and stress-free.

6) Sleep Well

Sleep can do wonders for your memory and focus. So, make sure to take sound sleep every night. If you find it difficult to sleep try to cut down on caffeinated drinks. Also, stop excessive use of digital devices like mobile phone or TV. Besides, stick to a bedtime routine to feel sleepy naturally. Moreover, do not clutter your head with many thoughts before sleeping.

7) Improve Memory and Focus

The best help for an exam would be to find ways to improve memory and concentration. You can do this in many ways. You can practice mindfulness. Also, increase intake of nuts, blueberries, coffee, and avocado. Besides, exercise and yoga can help you to have a better memory. If nothing works, then you can take professional help.

Overcoming test anxiety may not be easy for the students who have been feeling the exam stress for a long time. But, exam anxiety management can help you relieve the exam stress slowly. Besides, many educational institutes have exam stress helpline to teach students how to beat exam anxiety. Also, counseling can help to a great extent. Yet, the real help needs to come from you. You must not put pressure on yourself to achieve success at the cost of your mental health. Remember these great lines:

“Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe.” – Sumner Redstone


Benyam Gizaw

Benyam Gizaw is the brain behind the online tutoring app, My Tutor. His role includes taking initiative in launching the app, leading the marketing, and operations team. He is a super-optimistic and motivating thought leader who believes that knowledge has more power than anything else in this world. His mission is to create equal opportunity for receiving a proper education for all. This simple idea of spreading education globally has given birth to one of the most user-friendly educational apps.

In his own words, “Knowledge is the key to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. My Tutor is the first step towards fulfilling this mission.”

As a result-oriented, self-driven, and super-enthusiastic thought leader, he firmly believes that one can achieve his goal if he is consistent in his field of expertise and is ready to take chances in life. This positive approach towards life and work has made Benyam a unique personality. He continues to motivate his team members to give their best.

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