Exams or tests can be stressful, especially when you do not have all the answers and yet you have to score good. So, what can you do in such situations? Often times, people or students end up panicking, however, getting all stressed out is not the answer. Here is what you can do instead to counter the situation. As you may know from painful experience, the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to forget even the information you would normally know. How could that be possible, you had studied earlier, right?
Evolution is to Blame
You can blame evolution for that unfortunate situation you face. Back when our ancestors were in the hunter/gatherer stage, they faced very different challenges than we do today. Back then, danger usually meant a threat to life and limb. And there were only two possible solutions: fight or flight. Either of those required that all physical resources needed to be available to do a good job with either fighting the threatening animal, or running away. Thinking would only get in the way.
Today’s challenges are different
In today’s world, fighting or fleeing are rarely the solution. Instead, we are stuck at a desk and need to draw maximum performance from our brains. Unfortunately, stress will do the opposite and make it supremely difficult to retrieve quality information from our brains. So we have a very different challenge on top of our main challenge, i.e., taking the test. In addition, we need to make sure we are as calm as possible, or at least calm enough so that our stress level does not interfere with our main job. This may even feel a bit absurd, but it is what needs to be done if you want to do well on your test.
How to stay calm
Nearly everything you need to do to stay calm seems to be counter intuitive, but stay with me anyway. Here are the key components:
a) Do not worry about how well you do on the test
This means, do not worry about the outcome and focus what is in front of you without stressing out. Not right while you are taking the test anyway. Any such worries will only get you all stressed out as you wonder what will happen if you get a bad grade, possibly will not be able to graduate or get the job, and so on. These are not the kinds of thoughts that help you stay calm.
b) Focus on the task at hand
Instead, focus on the task at hand. All you need to do is answer one question after the other. One question at a time. Do not think about anything beyond that one question you are working on right this very moment. What if there is a question you cannot answer? Just move on to the next one. And so on.
c) A strategy for handling multiple choice tests
Here is one exception to the rule above: If you are taking a multiple choice test where you get penalized for leaving questions blank, and where you cannot go back and answer questions later, you should guess. Just know exactly what the risks are. How should you guess? Simply eliminate all the unlikely answers, and pick what seems like the best one to you
Part from the told method there are other ways you can stay calm. Although it has nothing to do with exam, but they definitely work. Like you need to keep your mind clear of thoughts of negative possible outcomes. Chew gum, gum chewing has been associated with calming the mind. You can practice yoga to train your mind and stay determined that no what, the consequences will come out best.