Coping with Exam Anxiety

We feel anxiety when we perceive a great danger and think that we cannot cope with it.

A certain level of anxiety is normal and necessary. In this way, we can find motivation to prepare for the exam and have a desire to achieve success.

However, excessive anxiety causes some emotional, physiological, cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

As a result of these, distraction, difficulty in understanding, difficulty in remembering and organizing information may be experienced. It should never be forgotten that what causes anxiety is not the exam itself, but our thoughts about the exam.

What causes test anxiety?

• Focusing on the result of the exam rather than the study process and having negative thoughts about it

• Not trusting their knowledge about the exam or being able to use their knowledge in the exam

• Fear of being negatively evaluated

• Setting unrealistic goals

• Seeing negative thoughts as real

What should we do?

• What we can do is evaluate our study time, not determine the result of the exam.

We can make arrangements accordingly (implementing a work plan, learning time and attention management, meal-sleep schedule).

• We must be aware that no anxiety lasts forever. Anxiety follows a curve that goes up and then goes down.

• What happens when I worry? We should notice the symptoms of anxiety, such as distress, uneasiness, nausea, dry mouth, sweating. After noticing the bodily symptoms, we can relax ourselves with relaxation and breathing exercises and remind ourselves that we are in control.

• In which situations, which thoughts come to my mind, do I increase my anxiety? Before, during and after the exam, we should be aware of the negative thoughts that come to our mind automatically. We must realize that these are not realistic considerations and replace them with functional alternative thoughts.

Negative automatic s gnomes and their realistic alternatives

I won’t be able to pass the exam. / I shouldn’t get stuck on any question.

+ There may be questions that I will have difficulty with. If there is a question I can’t do, I’ll move on to the next question, if I have time, I can go back and try again.

If I get distracted/excited, my exam will be ruined.

I can be distracted, get excited. I will try to use my attention as appropriately as possible.

If I don’t pass the exam, I will be disgraced.

+ What does it mean to be a disgrace? I have many features that make me valuable, my life is not just the result of an exam.

If I fail the exam, I will have wasted my family’s efforts.

+My family is doing their best, so I will do my best to work.

No matter what I do, I will not get the result I want.

+ What is in my hands is not to determine the result of my exam, but to study for the exam. If I study properly instead of thinking about the exam result, my probability of getting the result I want in the exam increases.

Despite these, if you have intense anxiety that prevents you from using the information you learned before the exam and reduces your success, if you constantly postpone studying and refuse to talk to those around you about the exam, it may be useful to seek psychological help from a specialist.

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