Many adults still remember exam time with a shudder. What can we say about the children who will have to hand them over very soon! Graduates often panic and are afraid that due to nerves and confusion they will not remember anything. How do you stay calm during an exam? We asked psychologists and tell you.

The nature of exam fear

Surprisingly, everyone experiences pre-examination jitters, even straight A students and medalists. Modern research has revealed that stress is such a thing that makes even the most savvy and cold-blooded take exams an order of magnitude worse. And all because of the stress hormone cortisol, which forms a protective reaction to external threats.

American psychologists Yerkes and Dodson established an interesting pattern: the higher the level of arousal of a person, the higher his performance, but up to a certain point. When excitement (in this case, stress) reaches its limit, it, on the contrary, only reduces the mentioned productivity. And this means that excitement can in some cases be beneficial, but only if you do not get nervous.

We offer you to get acquainted with several important tips — how to behave on the exam in order to remain calm:

Make sure you are prepared enough
Most often, pre-examination anxiety is due to the fact that the student doubts his readiness: here it would be better to try, and this topic should not be forgotten, and it would also be worth repeating the old formulas …

Our first recommendation concerns exactly the process of preparing for the exam. It should be approached thoughtfully and carefully, making a schedule of practice and repetition. It is best to make short summaries of abstracts on all topics, paying special attention to your gaps and typical mistakes. Then, with a high probability, the excitement will not go over the edge during the exam: after all, the child repeated everything, did not forget a single topic and paid attention to each type of task! And be sure to write cheat sheets. They help to highlight the most important and formulate it concisely and clearly. You yourself will not notice how you will understand any topic.

Simulate an exam situation
And a few days before the exam, and even an hour before it, you can offer the student to simulate the exam situation. In many ways, fears are associated not so much with knowledge as with the situation: the circle of checks, cameras, strangers … The unknown is really scary, which leads to an increase in stress levels.

It will be easier for the student if he thinks through all the stages from beginning to end: at such and such he will get up, at such and such he will come to the PES, then he will go through the inspection, find out where the toilet is in the PES, which audience he should go to and how to fill out forms. You can watch a video together about the procedure for conducting the exam, and on the Internet you can get acquainted with examples of forms and practice filling them out. Then the child will feel much more confident during the exam itself.

Treat yourself on exam day
The exam is a really hard day. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with pleasing yourself both before and after X-hour. Before the exam, you can listen to your favorite song, eat something tasty, read a couple of pages of an inspiring and motivating book. Or maybe you like jokes about Vovochka more? All this will allow you to get a little distracted and reduce the level of internal stress. It is good to promise yourself a reward and a pleasant pastime after the exam.

Take a walk before the exam
Walking and physical activity in general help maintain composure in a stressful situation. It is not necessary to pull the barbell in the morning before the exam, just leave the house early and, if possible, take a little walk, get some fresh air, stretch your muscles or do light exercises.

Physical activity perfectly reduces the level of cortisol and stimulates the production of endophrins and serotonin.

Use breathing techniques
It happens that before the exam, the student is not particularly worried, but in the classroom his hands begin to sweat and his heartbeat noticeably accelerates. What to do? Breathing practices will help, which, of course, should be familiarized even before the day of the exam.

Breathing exercises allow you to calm down, reduce stress and restore concentration. This can be, for example, slow breathing through the nose for five minutes, or a series of short inhalations and exhalations at intervals of 30 seconds (2 short inhalations, 1 short exhalation / 3 short breaths through the nose, 1 long exhalation through the mouth / switching breath from chest to diaphragmatic and vice versa, etc.).

The basic rule is simple — the exhalation should be a few seconds longer than the inhalation. It is important to breathe in this way for several minutes in a row, at least 5 or 10, so that the nervous system has time to rebuild.

Work with thoughts
Keeping calm on the exam will help work with thoughts. It will be useful to teach the student to concentrate on pleasant positive things that he can immediately recall in stressful moments in order to calm excessive excitement and tune in to the right wave. For example, he may think of his grandmother’s pies, his beloved fluffy cat, the smell of the air after a thunderstorm, a light summer breeze, or some pleasant and safe place where he can come after the exam.

«No» to sedatives
Unfortunately, the use of sedatives is by no means the best way to deal with anxiety. Yes, they have an effect, but either cumulative or short-term. In addition, they can lead to severe drowsiness, which also does not have the best effect on concentration and attentiveness.

Instead of a sedative before the exam, it is better to give the child a bar of dark chocolate that stimulates brain activity, or a handful of nuts that improve memory and attention.

Don’t hyperbolize
Another reason for pre-exam anxiety is the results. The exam has not even begun, and thoughts are already creeping into your head that you did not pass and made a mistake wherever possible. What to do? Stop the flow of negative thoughts! The easier children and their parents treat the exam, the more comfortable this process is for the child. The child should know: they love him not for grades and not for five in the certificate. After all, an exam is just an exam!

Knowledge now, gaps later
On the exam itself, when stress covers, it can be very difficult to remember the answers to difficult questions. Therefore, first of all, in order not to waste time, you should answer all simple questions, the interpretation of which does not cause any difficulty.

It is better to postpone answers to voluminous or complex questions for later. In addition, there is a high probability that while the child writes what he knows, the answers to some forgotten and difficult questions will pop up in his head by themselves.

We make plans for voluminous answers
As soon as the turn of detailed answers comes, many schoolchildren begin to stupor. Where to start? And how not to forget to mention this here? And where to shove that argument and that thesis? It is necessary to re-read the question again, draw up a detailed plan for the answer and re-read it already. But immediately writing an answer in a clean copy, hoping to complete the task faster, is not the best idea. Take your time, stay focused and calm. And everything will work out!

Give yourself moral support
Many schoolchildren on the exam are not at all calmed by breathing exercises, but by rituals! It happens that a coin under the heel brings much more moral reassurance than switching thoughts. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with wearing “lucky” earrings, a “lucky” shirt or trying to enter the audience on the left foot for the exam. The main thing is to help!

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