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[Before EXAM] Coping with Stress, An Experimental Approach

How good are you at coping with exam STRESS?

coping with stress

Hey Guys, How are you doing?I am NOT getting much response from this blog.Maybe I need to work on the strategy part.I always welcome your feedback and definitely I am looking for some interesting feedback to improve the quality of blog post.Seriously, I am stressed? What I am typing huh?No introduction nothing I am simply talking anything.WOW.........

Coming back to the post, I will be talking about stress management techniques that I have used to overcome the exam stress.It is very important to understand the root cause of any problem.I will divide the exam stress into two parts.The first one is the stress that happens before the exam and the second one that happens during the exam,

Moving further, let's talk about the stress that happens before the exam.I mean to say during the preparation period of the exam.
coping with stress psychology


Why we have stress during exam preparation?

I know all of us have gone through the exam stress.For some, it's manageable while for others it's unbearable.I will share my experience to put some light on the exam stress.Trust me Guys, I never used to get stressed during the preparation period.My stress used to be at the maximum limit just before the exam night.I hope it's not only me but many of my readers would have faced the similar situation.During the exam preparation period, I always used to think that I have one more day to prepare and so on.It's the last day when I don't have any option but to prepare.I was very scared of the word 'Fail'.Sometimes I used to daydream that I haven't cleared an exam.If you ask me the reason of stress I will definitely say lack of planning, lack of preparation and lack of enthusiasm for the exam.These are in fact very few.My list contains a lot of reason and I hope you can too correlate with it.
coping with stress psychology diagram

Coping with high-level exam stress is not as difficult as it seems.According to me, it's all in your mind.The more you will train your mind for such scenario the better you will perform.Every individual is entirely different can have a different reason for stress.I will share with you an exercise to find the stress-cause and then the steps need to be taken to manage stress.

Coping with Stress (Step-1)

I am an engineer and I believe to a great extent in root cause analysis.First, you need to figure out the elements that add to your exam stress.A practical way would be to analyze your daily task and your environment before exams and during the exams.
You will need to ask few questions to yourself.

Why I am feeling stressed from the last couple of days?
Is my preparation not according to my expectation?
Am I not enjoying my study or preparation?
Am I not able to understand the study material?
Am I more dependent on my friends for study?
Am I getting stressed out because of the change in daily routine?
Am I stressed out because of high expectation of my parents and family?

I have listed only a few questions that came to my mind while penning down this article.There can be indefinite questions and answers.To figure out the reason of stress you need to spend some time with yourself and then talk to yourself.


I have seen in most of the cases, a lack of preparation is the major cause of stress among the students.In the highly competitive environment and pressure to perform can sometimes be disastrous.While I was searching on the internet I found that many students across the globe do suicide due to the stress of not performing according to the parents' expectation.We will discuss the research data in detail in the later part of the article.

Here we need to understand one more thing.Are you getting stressed out before every exam? I have seen many of my colleagues and friends getting stressed before every exam.I asked them about the problem and they used to say I don't know why I get so much stressed even though I know I am well prepared for the exam.I have raised the issue just to put the limelight on this type of scenario.I will talk about it in the section "how to manage stress during the exam".

Moving further I would love to highlight one major issue related to coping with stress.I can challenge you that there are many individuals who don't even know that they are stressed out.They aren't aware of the stress symptoms.I will write a separate article on stress symptoms.In case you don't know that you are depressed or stressed then you should share your problem with your family and friends.Only when you will talk about your problem then only someone will come forward to help you or guide you.
Keeping the problem to yourself is definitely gonna increase your stress.
 There is an instance when you are not able to find the reason of stress yourself but I am damn sure that you can find out that something is not right.You may feel fatigue, less motivated, less energetic. lost and so on.
coping with stress symptoms
Again I will say one thing very important.You are the person who knows your mental and physical health condition than anyone else.The time you feel something is not right please make an appointment with a psychiatrist and speak out your problem and issue.Never hide anything from the doctor.

So the first step in coping with stress is always to figure out the cause of the stress.The cause can be temporary or permanent.Though stress due to the exam is temporary.

Coping with Stress (Step-2)

Once you are aware of the cause of your stress you can work on the stress management techniques to completely eradicate the source of stress.There are instances when we aren't able to completely eradicate the stress source.In that kind of situation, we need to make our mind strong to live with the stress.Coming back to the topic let's understand both the situations-Source of stress can be eradicated and source of stress can't be eradicated with an example.

I will be talking about two friends-David and Johnson.Both were best friends from the school days. They joined the same college.David was an extrovert whereas Johnson was an introvert.According to his personality, David always used to speak out his problems.He never used to keep things to himself.By sharing his problem, David used to de-stress himself.In fact, he was well aware of the stress management techniques.He even used to consult his family doctor in case he feels something is wrong with his mental health.

On the other hand his friend, Johnson was an introvert.He used to keep problems to himself.He never used to share his problems even with the close friends.One thing was good about him that he has lots of patience.He rarely gets panic.In short, both were totally opposite of one another.

Unfortunately, both faced a similar situation and they responded differently to the same situation.It was just a week before the exam.David and Johnson, both lost there mother.I think it is perhaps the worst situation to lose your parents.The worst part is it's very difficult for us to overcome such situation.The pain is not only internal but unbearable as well.
coping with stress effectively
                                                                    credit:Glasberoen

David being an introvert, cried loudly and share his pain with almost everyone.He couldn't stop crying while sharing his pain.He was well aware that he will not be able to perform very well in the coming exam.He knows the cause of his stress which can't be ignored.David was also aware of the fact that his pain will only go with the passage of time.His close friends even asked him to drop from the exam.He took the decision of appearing for the exam.It was totally his call.Finally, the day came when he has to face the exam.He was not prepared for the exam.In the exam, he wrote whatever he knows and came out.In the similar fashion, he appeared for all the papers.The result came and he managed to pass the exam.Though the grades were not that great but almost everyone was surprised by the courage he has shown.He managed his stress by engaging himself in some activities rather than sitting with books and thinking of his mother.He was aware of his limitation.He preferred to engage himself.Though he didn't study for the exam he was totally de-stressed on the exam day.He gave preference to manage the stress that was caused due to his mother sudden death.

The best thing I liked about David is that he was well aware of his strength and mental condition and he acted accordingly.


Johnson was in deep pain.He didn't share his feeling and emotion with anyone.He completely aloof himself.Most of the time Johnson used to go think about his mother.He made his own world where he used to talk to himself.There was a sudden change in his behavior.Now he became more aggressive. On the exam day he was under stress and though the paper was very easy he couldn't deliver.Unlikely, David, he was sweating in the exam.He even left the examination hall earlier because he doesn't want to face his friends.

The result came and he topped the exam.It came as surprise to everyone.When his father asked him about the secret, he replied in a very polite way-I know how to handle my stress.The sudden death of my mother made me mentally strong and I worked on a daily basis to cope with my stress.Though coping with stress wasn't easy for me in the initial days later I got accustomed to it.I accepted the fact that my mother is not gonna come back and rest of my life I have to live without her.Slowly and gradually my pain reduced and my inner strength stood like a pillar against the stress.

Sometimes accepting the fact that you have to live with the cause of stress really helps to de-stress.
Johnson came out with flying color even in the toughest of the situation.



Coping with Stress (Step-3)

I have seen in lots of cases where the student get stressed just because s/he is not able to follow the study routine.To make it more clear, Let's see the example.

Mr. Kelvis is a student of final year graduation and he has decided to work very hard for the last exam.To come out with flying color in the exam, he has decided to follow a strict timetable where every day he will cover a new topic.He made the timetable for the next three months.He doesn't want to take any risk this time.

Day 1: He followed the routine as per the timetable.
Day 2: He followed the routine as per the timetable but he got stressed out in the last few hours.
Day 3: He lost the interest in the middle and discontinued the study.
Day 4: He got tensed because he has to cover his today's as well as yesterday's topics.As a result, he screwed up.
Day 5: He started hating the timetable which he has made for the preparation.
Day 6: He started searching for an alternative.
Day 7: He got stressed and to get de-stress, he has to contact a psychiatrist.

So, It's evident from the above example that you may get stressed to a great extent in case things doesn't work as per your plan.I have taken an example of timetable.It can vary person to person.

coping with stress example

I always believe to the core of my heart that every problem is an opportunity.

Let's discuss some of the time-tested methods that can really build confidence when it comes to coping with the exam.

Analyze the requirement of the  exam:

I will suggest you to first consult your teacher and clear all your doubts related to the syllabus of the course, the expectation from you, exam duration and so on.You need to jot down all the points where you have doubt and then clear it one by one.
To be on the safer side, I will suggest you, refer some of the previous year papers.Sometimes there can be some change in the syllabus as compared to the last year.To avoid any confusion, make sure that you are well versed in the syllabus.

coping with stress example


Build an exam like environment:

I consider this an important point.Always try to create an environment similar to the exam.When I was a student, I always used to test myself before the exam by creating a similar ambiance and solving previous year papers.It not only help me to check my strength and weakness but was also of great help in terms of time management.

Appearing for the exam like a situation before the exam is definitely a big plus point.Your mind becomes well prepared in advance to cope with stress.

On the day of the exam, you will not panic.In fact, your mind will be familiar with the situation and this, in turn, will give you an added psychological advantage.

If we discuss in terms of psychology then we need to understand two terms-context dependent memory and state-dependent memory.

Context-dependent memory refers to the concept of inculcation of information best remembered in the similar kind of environment.

State-dependent memory states that anyone's memory performs best only when information is retrieved in the similar bodily states. 

Have you taken notes on a regular basis in the class?

To perform well in the exam, you need to be well prepared with your exam materials.If you have taken notes on the regular basis then you will not have any stress related to the course material.I have seen lots of my friends getting stressed out just because of incomplete course material.One of the important benefits of taking regular notes in the class is to be aware of the things happening.In your unconscious mind, you will be having a rough idea about the amount of hard work you will have to put in to well verge the notes.

It also helps you to prepare yourself on a day-to-day basis.It's a great habit to prepare yourself for tomorrow class.When I was in college I not only used to take notes on regular basis but also used to read it every day.So, during the exam preparation days, I used to cope with stress easily as compared to my colleagues.The reason behind this was very simple.Since I used to study my handwritten class notes every day so nothing was new to me.I was very clear in mind how much time I need to dedicate to each subject.

Time Management: A Key to Coping with Stress

My father always used to say that there are only 24 hours in a day and your success lies very much in the fact that how efficiently you utilize these hours.

Time is Money.

I hope you would have definitely experienced the shortage of time for your exam preparation.We have so much to read for your exams but when it comes to time we have a limited one.So, what is the solution? 

 I would recommend you to make a daily routine timetable.It will help you to analyze where you are spending more time and vice-versa. Always keep in mind to NOT make your timetable monotonous.You will lose your interest.Make it happening and add a flavor of adventure quotient if possible.Now, you will definitely ask me adventure quotient, WTF?

Yes, adventure quotient includes tracking or something that you really love and admire.It will help you to regain your energy and get back to preparation with high energy quotient.

Time Management should be a Fun and NOT a boredom.

Time Mangement helps you in coping with stress in more than one way.It provides you mental stability along with the flexibility to deliver more in less time.

Proper time management is a key factor in increasing the efficiency of an individual.

Remember taking breaks should be a part of your time management.

Once you are making your study hours timetable, you should include the break hours.I will suggest you, take breaks at least once in an hour.According to scientific research, a human brain can concentrate on any particular task for only forty-five minutes at a stretch.So, taking a break at a regular interval definitely increases the efficiency.


Drink Plenty of Liquids: It's always good to stay hydrated.I will recommend you to drink plenty of fruit juice, vegetable juice and of course water.Taking liquid at a regular interval will help you to cope with exam stress by maintaining the level of sodium and potassium.During my exam days, I used to take lots of fruits.
I have also seen lots of my friends taking herbal tea to cope efficiently with exam stress and remain hydrated.

Exercise: I love a mix of mind and body exercise.You can go for some aerobic exercise followed by yoga.You can also hit the gym and do some light exercise.I will not recommend you to lift heavy weight.Avoid exercising for more than 30 minutes.

Yoga is known to be one of the best stress management activities.

Coping with Stress (Step-4)

Enough Sleep: You need to get enough sleep.Researchers have proved it time and again that a sound sleep can reduce stress to a great extent.

No Substitute for a Sound Sleep.

In case you are not feeling sleepy then consult a doctor.Don't ignore the symptoms of stress.It is very important to understand one's body and mind.First and foremost, you need to understand the number of hours your body needs to relax fully.

The number of hours of a sound sleep varies from person to person.You also need to check the time when it's great for you to go to bed.For me 10:30 pm is the best time to go to bed and sleep for six hours without any disturbances really works.

Eat Healthy Foods: I hope most of you are aware of the fact that foods can help you in reducing your stress level.You need to prepare a checklist for your diet which must include fruits that will help you to cope with the stress.

Some of my suggestion includes but NOT limited to

  • Avoid heavily processed food.
  • Too much sugar is REALLY dangerous.
  • Include green vegetables in your diet along with lean meat and fruits.
  • Eat a balanced diet.


Achievement Matters-

Reward yourself.Every achievement matters-big or small.I haven't seen any individual who doesn't like being appreciated.Preparing for an exam is NOT a night task.It needs to be planned properly.One thing we all forget while preparing for the exam is to appreciate yourself in the preparation phase also.Divide your entire syllabus into small tasks.Fix a date and time when you want to accomplish the task to reach the next level.

If you love playing games then definitely you will understand the concept.Just like games have different levels you can also design your preparation into different levels.The chapters which you think are easy to understand can be treated as lower levels and the chapters with a higher level of difficulty can be treated as difficulty levels.

In many video games, you have to complete a level in a given span of time.In case you fail to do so, you will have to start again.

Similarly, try to inculcate this strategy into your study plan.Try to complete the chapters in the allotted time.

Before we conclude, let's have a look on some of  the handpicked articles.


coping with stress by managing time


Consider completing each level as your achievements and more importantly appreciate yourself for it.This will give a big boost to your confidence and will prepare a well planned strategical background to cope with stress.



Conclusion: I am sure that by following above methods you will be able to cope with stress during exam preparation.Coping with stress is definitely a point of concern for a larger section of students and this article if read carefully will be of great help.



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