How to deal with exam phobia

There are some simple ways to deal with the stress that comes with exams. Read on to find out how.

Published: 27th March 2013 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2013 08:28 AM   |  A+A-


With board exams just about finished, examinees yet cannot afford the luxury of stretching their legs as numerous entrance examination line themselves up. Besides trying to get all the dates in order so that they don’t clash, the biggest problem they will have to deal with is stress and there are some simple ways to deal with it.

Last year, the Indian Medical Academy (IMA) had conducted a study on 625 students appearing for their board examinations in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata which revealed that students experience stress at this point of their career.

For those studying in tenth grade, it was mostly a matter of feeling nervous since they are  appearing for a Board exam for the first time, while for students studying in the twelfth grade, it was stress due to competition amongst peers.

The latter came with the pressure of competition that goes each year for gaining admission into colleges which require high marks to get in.

As the Indian Medical Academy reported, “The prime motivation for the IMA to conduct  this research was to analyse the common practices among students while preparing for an  examination. The research came out with the fact that the students tend to ignore their health while preparing for their exams. They skip their regular meals and forego the required hours of sleep. They tend to ignore the fact that for outstanding performance it is essential to maintain a balance between study, food, sleep and relaxation.

Most of the students tend to become physically weak and fall ill just before or during the exams.”

As per the study, 69 per cent students study for more than eight hours and 41 per cent experience stress due to worry over their preparedness.

The bigger health worry is a sudden nutrition routine of excess junk food, which are quick to fill the stomach but almost zero on nutrients. Besides, dieticians feel that lack of exercise leads to slowing down the metabolic rate and thus the fat is not burnt away easily. They suggest at least 20 minutes to an hour of walk after a heavy meal and rest at certain points of the day. This would not only keep the body physically healthy, but would ease the strain on the mind too. For most, it is suggested that a minimum study of  eight hours at a stretch and a few power naps through the day helps resuscitate their  energy levels as well as mental absorption levels. It is better to have fruits handy for snacking. Bananas have slow burning carbohydrates and can be used as energy foods instead of oily and deep-fried snacks. When it comes to the family, though it is natural for parents to worry over their children’s future, it is necessary that they do not pile up and  add to the stress when students are already stressed out. Parental expectations also add to  the burden, but for the students it is their first experience dealing with stress and anxiety  due to pressure, which will come in other forms throughout their lives.


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