Let’s Talk About Exam Stress

Ren and I'm stressed (1)

I have exams coming up next week and I feel unprepared. It’s not that I haven’t been revising (I’ve been revising like there’s no tomorrow!) it is just that I never feel like I’ve made myself good enough to take the exam. Part of the problem is the pressure I put on myself.  I don’t just want to pass, I want to pass well.

I make things worse by comparing myself to other people. There’s always that person who doesn’t seem to have to study at all and yet they always pass with flying colours. But it’s unfair to compare  my revision strategies to there’s and judge myself as wanting because of it when we  have minds that attain information differently. I know that, yet I still compare. I should be concentrating on myself and what I need to do to achieve my goals.

But then comes the other problem: focus.  I find myself getting distracted all too easily, even in an empty room. To be fair to myself sometimes I am sitting there thinking about concepts and ideas that are relevant to my exam. But I feel like I should be doing something active like taking notes so I have something to show for it, as if I need to evidence my learning that way. But the whole point of exams is that the exams themselves are where I evidence my learning. Nobody is going to look through my revision notes and judge me on them. It’s what is inside my head and how I get it out on paper on that one particular day that counts. Again, I know that and yet I put pressure on myself to produce pages of  notes that aren’t necessarily helping because I’m not sure that is how I learn and remember stuff.

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Is typing up notes really helping me learn or should I be experimenting with other ways of studying? (My Little Monster)

One of my teachers said that the best way to get good marks is to enjoy your subject because that way your excitement about what you’re writing about (my exams are all essay based, by the way) will show through.  I do enjoy my subject when I’m writing an essay over the course of a few weeks and I get good marks for them, but there’s something about exam conditions that sucks out my enthusiasm.

When it comes to exams I am my own worst enemy. If I could get over the stress, I know I could achieve the grades I want with relative ease.

I lack confidence in my own abilities but I need to get over it somehow. I can have so much fun after next week. I’ve got my birthday to look forward to, a puppy to hug, books to read (The Assassin’s Blade :D) and games (DanganRonpa, anybody?) to play. From now on I don’t want to dwell on ideas of failure or sadness. I want to be more, well, fearless and do my best.

Anybody have any tips for dealing with and overcoming exam stress? Or have you felt it yourself? (We could make a club with badges and stuff)

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3 responses to “Let’s Talk About Exam Stress

  1. You know I really don’t think there is an effective way to conquer exam stress except to get it over with. lol I totally think what you’re feeling is normal. Definitely try different study methods to see what works best for you. Note taking did work for me – i did it in outline form with bulleted lists rather than entire sentences etc. Because I always hated going back over and reading the stuff.

    I was a highlighter of text books as well …I know I’m bad.

    • I like the idea of writing it out in different ways, like in bullet-point form. I want to try out writing important bits of information out on coloured cards and seeing how that works out. I’ve also been experimenting with new ways of studying by making my kindle read my notes out loud to me as well, which actually seems to be working quite well.

      I wish I could highlight my textbooks! I tend to fill textbooks with sticky notes but then I have to return them to the library so I have to sit for what feels like hours tracking down every sticky note and removing it!

      I had my first exam today (*shudder*) and I have one more on Thursday. I’m so close to being able to enjoy the summer. So. Close.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by 😀

  2. Pingback: The Freedom to Read Without Guilt | Fearless Facade·

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