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How to overcome examination anxiety?

Q: I would like to tell you that I am good in studies right from my childhood. But I see that from last couple of years I find very difficult in scoring marks in my exams. I am 20 years now. I study hard and practice all theories by writing them and thus making myself thorough but still when I receive the question paper in my hand in the examination hall, somehow I don't know why I seem to fear a lot and in the depression Or else I feel difficult in writing the paper. When I read the question from the paper I feel happy and relaxed that I know these many questions, but when I start writing the answers to them I feel like something stopping me. I just write one or two steps of the derivation and leave the paper blank inspite knowing that I know the answers for many other questions too. Doctor this time the result, I failed in my Graduation of Science in Statistics. But I still feel that I left many known questions answers unsolved in the paper. What do I do ? How shall I overcome this fear which is during exams only. Other times I can memorise many things at a same time and also follow all sports very hard. I am to reappear after 3 months for my exams, so can you please let me know how to cope with this?

A:It is important to understand the reason and pattern of your fear and anxiety about writing the exam. Try to recall when you started with the problem and any other related fears. Are you a highly anxious person otherwise too? From your query it seems that you are leading a normal life otherwise. It would be a good idea to get yourself assessed for general depression or anxiety and take medication if necessary. To help yourself remain calm and composed during the exam, try the following- a) Start your exam revision before you normally do so that you are over-confident about the course. b) Undertake practice tests before the final exam, and take steps to improve the speed etc. c) Practice deep abdominal breathing, meditation and other relaxation exercises as part of your daily routine. d) Sleep early the night before the exam so that you wake up fresh. e) Eat a light and nutritious meal before you leave. f) Tell yourself that you are very confident this time and will not get nervous. Use positive thinking and self-talk to help yourself. Overview your strengths and list your positive points, e.g. your hard-working nature, intelligence level, your commitment and try not to think about your anxiety. Best of luck! Have faith in yourself that you will succeed! Everyone has some amounts of exam anxiety, you are not alone !Just relax!

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