December 17, 2019

Handling Final Exam Anxiety

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As final exam season approaches, it's all too common for students to feel a sense of dread. Final exam anxiety can cause racing thoughts, poor concentration, sweaty palms, and nausea. This can easily cause a student to lose control and put a halt on all their hard work.

If you find yourself experiencing final exam anxiety, you're not alone. In this article, we'll discuss a few of the ways you can combat final exam anxiety and shift your focus toward success.

Understand the Causes of Final Exam Anxiety

Listening to your inner voice and analyzing why you're feeling anxious is the first step in overcoming final exam anxiety. Common causes of final exam anxiety include fear of failure, inadequate preparation time, or negative past experiences with taking exams.

Practice Mindfulness

Final exam anxiety is often accompanied by negative thoughts like "I can't do this," and a general sense of dread. Your thoughts may zero in on everything that could go wrong or you may be dwelling on a past experience.

To combat this, try adding mindfulness techniques to your daily routine. Focus on the present, calmly acknowledge how you feel, and visualize a scene where you are completely relaxed. This will train your mind to relax anytime you feel final exam anxiety creeping up on you. Paired with encouraging self-talk, this can be a powerful tool for overcoming final exam anxiety.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Another common cause of final exam anxiety is a lack of adequate time to study and prepare. If you feel unprepared going into an exam, your anxiety levels can easily skyrocket. Mindfulness and calm breathing can help calm the thoughts of dread that come with this.

Taking steps to prepare for the exam ahead of time can help you combat this anxiety before it occurs. Study in small sections each day leading up to the exam to make preparation more manageable. You can also use practice exams to mentally prepare for both the content and format of the exam. The more familiar the exam seems, the less likely you are to feel anxious about it.

Put Self-Care First

Above all, self-care should be your top priority. Taking care of your health and reaching out for help can make all the difference in managing your final exam anxiety. Your school may have mental health resources available to help you work through your anxiety in a one-on-one setting. You can also reach out to a mental health professional from our network of licensed therapists.

You're not alone in this struggle, so be kind to yourself. You've got this!

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