Getting jittery about the upcoming SPM exams?
by StudyMalaysia.com on December 18, 2023 | Top Stories
It is normal for most students to feel nervous before and during an exam. A little bit of anxiety can act as an impetus and motivation to prepare well for the exam. However intense anxiety may impede academic performance. By understanding the potential causes and symptoms of extreme anxiety, students will be able to manage their stress and let it work for them.
Main potential causes:
- Pressure from students themselves if they are perfectionists and are constantly pressuring themselves to perform.
- Expectations from family and friends.
- A previous negative experience or failure when confidence has been affected.
- Lack of preparation or study - a sense of helplessness and stress as exam time draws near.
- The individual’s personality and mental disposition - some people can take pressure better than others.
There may be many causes for developing exam anxiety but this does not mean it cannot be managed. The emotional symptoms include feeling nervous, unsettled or overwhelmed, panicky and helpless. Physical symptoms may include increased heart rate, muscle tension, nausea, fatigue, increased sweating, difficulty in breathing and tightness in chest, loss of appetite, sleep pattern changes, light-headedness and feeling faint. Different people experience different symptoms of anxiety and to different degree.
How to overcome exam anxiety:
- Prepare early and prepare well - This undoubtedly the best way to contain anxiety, Adequate preparation allows for reflection and also remedial steps if things are not quite right.
- Practise answering techniques for different types of questions. This should be done throughout the year way and not just before the exam. Practise answering questions within the time limit. Very often students lose control of their time when they spend too much time on questions they find difficult or on questions which they can write a lot on.
- Spread out the studying throughout the whole year instead of doing last-minute cramming. Running out of time to do revision when the exam is around the corner is one of the man causes of anxiety.
- Do not study for long periods without any break. Find out your own concentration span and take a break when necessary.
- Learn how to aid memory instead of spending long hours memorising facts. Good study techniques like mind-mapping, using mnemonics or making short notes that you can refer to often may help retention of facts.
- Eat well, rest well and do regular exercise to keep yourself fit and healthy. A healthy mind s housed in a healthy body.
- Familiarise yourself with formats of the different papers so that you know what to expect when you sit for the exam.
- Check out the time and location of the exam well in advance to avoid having to rush.
- Keep tab of the time while you are doing the exam.
- Be happy that your are doing your best and do not aim for perfection.
- Maintain a positive mindset - “I can do it”
- During the exam do the questions you are familiar with first. This will give you the confidence you need.
Thus students, in order to perform well in your exam, eat well, stop studying right before going in for the exam, make sure you have all your writing paraphernalia, go to the exam centre early, be positive, read the questions carefully and use your time wisely. All’s well that ends well!
- Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/female-student-suffering-from-headache-at-home-3808016/