Exam Stress And Anxiety



Stress can lead to both anxiety & depression. However, some amount of anxiety is imperative for good performance. Some reactions to anxiety and stress are given below:

1. Muscle tension / Sleep difficulties
2. Rapid uneven or pounding heartbeat
3. Indigestion / Chest discomfort
4. Frequent urge to pass urine
5. Major changes in eating or sleeping habits
6. Change in appetite, constipation
7. Fast, shallow breathing
8. Nagging backache/headache/Cramps
9. Feeling under pressure, frustration and aggression
10. Symptoms like headaches, fainting spells
11. Increased disinterest in studies
12. Nervous and irritable / Forgetfulness
13. Lack of attention and concentration
14. Feeling tensed and unable to relax
15. Feelings of frustration and aggression
16. Asthmatic attacks / Breathlessness
17. Diarrhea/gastric trouble
18. Seeing more TV, sleeping more
19. Inability to complete tasks or plan study
20. Feeling mentally drained out
21. Fussy, gloomy or suspicious, being constantly frightened or irritable
22. Inability to concentrate or complete the task
23. Wanting to be alone / Staying out longer
24. Preoccupied, absent minded
25. Stop communicating with their parents
26. Have health problems


• Balancing food choices over time is what counts
• Breakfast provides the energy needed through an active morning
• Children who skip breakfast may have trouble concentrating
• Fast foods supply more fat, salt & calories than good nutrition
• Fast foods in moderation won’t ruin a healthful diet, especially when consumed with green salads
• Replace finger chips with an apple
• Add roughage to your diet – Dalia, Corn etc. will help prevent stomach discomfort and you will feel lighter
• The golden rule for food safety is to keep hot foods hot & cold foods cold
• Parents should teach good habits by example

Good Sleep

• Insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep) can be caused by stress & anxiety of Exams
• Disturbances of sleep wake cycle during exams
• If sleep struggles continue, talk them over with your doctor

Physical Activity and Yoga

• Exercise: planned & structured subset of leisure time physical activity undertaken for improving or maintaining physical fitness
• Physical fitness: includes cardio-respiratory fitness, muscle strength, body composition and flexibility
• Sport: any choice of outdoor game for a brief period. For example badminton, tennis

• Make realistic study plans
• Assess priorities, assets and difficulties
• Follow a normalized routine atmosphere at home
• Not to strip off TV or entertainment and outings
• Feel comfortable about oneself
• Choose a study place with minimum distractions
• Know your concentration span, study with breaks, Take frequent breaks
• Do not get anxious about the results
• Do not let previous results discourage you – identify your weak areas from previous exams and work on them
• Work out best time for concentration and studying
• Repeat your learnt work so the recall in exam is easy. Work not repeated or revised is easily forgotten
• Group study for difficult subjects: structured discussing of topics
• Time management plan must be made for all subjects
• Try to plan your revision time by drawing up a timetable. Build in time for the things you enjoy – like watching your favorite TV programme, going out with your family, friends, or going to play in the park
• Master what you know and are comfortable with
• Prioritize the workload. Give your best concentration time to the toughest subject
• Relax with what you know before entering the exam hall
• Imagining extreme consequences and worst situations is of no use and needs to be discouraged
• It is helpful to visualize what can be accomplished in the remaining time
• Constant encouragement and reassurance is essential from all significant members in the school and family: share, interact and improve relationships
• It is important to be clear about how to take the examination, how to tackle questions and how to manage time
• Students tend to magnify failures: try to talk to parents, teachers and friends to come out of it
• They should not demean themselves, manage time
• Give yourself a few treats – pamper yourself after you have finished your learning, revision
• Contact teachers or counsellors if you feel low or anxious or disinterested in studies

Dr. Padm Nabh Vasudeva, New Delhi, India
Phones: +91 11-25071654, +91 9868816638

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