Managing Exam Anxiety
It is natural to feel nervous before an exam. In fact
a moderate amount of anxiety probably aids performance as it produces
a rush of adrenaline which can help with focus and concentration.
However, too much anxiety can have the opposite effect and lead to
panic, inability to concentrate and potentially poor exam performance.
Exam nerves may seem much worse if you are doing exams
for the first time or after a long gap. Equally, if English is not
your first language or you have a specific learning disability or
mental health problem, exams can seem particularly daunting.
Furthermore, exams do not happen in isolation and there may be other
things in your life that are causing you stress. We are all
individuals and have different stress thresholds, and personality
traits and past experiences can all contribute to our ability to cope
with stress and pressure. However, there are things that everybody can
do to help manage anxiety and optimise exam performance.
Guidance and Advice
If you have tried the suggested techniques and still
feel very anxious or stressed
it is worth talking to someone about how you feel and seeking some
The following services are available:
Links and Suggested Reading
Relaxation and other Podcasts
Useful factsheets on many problems including exam stress, trouble
sleeping and coping with panic attacks
advice on dealing with anxiety, panic and related problems
Managing Your Mind by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope
Conquering Fear by Dorothy Rowe (MIND 2003)
How to Accept Yourself by Dr W Dryden (Sheldon
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