(Almost) everyone dreads exams. It is stressful and comes with pressure and expectations. You get nervous and anxious that it affects your sleeping as the exam dates approach closer. During the exam itself, you feel the need to recall all the information you studied and score high marks. You feel your heart beating faster, palms getting sweaty, and a sense of dread which are common signs of exam anxiety. What can you do when you experience this during the examination itself?
- Don’t panic
Whether it is a subject that you lack confidence in or you are struggling to answer the exam questions, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. Read the question slowly and try your best to tackle the question. If you need some time-out, ask the invigilator/teacher to get some fresh air. Ask for help from them should you require to.
- Pace your time and yourself
Manage your time well. Focus on understanding the exam questions slowly. Move on to other questions should you feel you need more time to produce an answer. Estimate the time you need to complete each section; this way, you will be able to better pace your progress and gives you time to check your answers. If need be, set your watch to 5 or 10 minutes quicker to give you additional time as the exam finishes.
- Draft your answers, in your own understanding
Write down any notes you recall or could be an answer on the question paper. You can engage in visual memory where you try to visualize your notes that may lead you to the answer you are looking for. Most examinations require an explanation so use examples or personal experiences to explain your understanding. Keep your answers straight to the point.
As much as SPM is important, your health matter more than grades. If you are feeling nervous and it is affecting you, please do talk to someone – be it your parents, friends, teachers, or anonymously.
Believe in yourself. You can do it.