It doesn’t matter if you study at Harvard or elsewhere, chances are you’ve encountered exam stress. Some people handle exams very well with not a care in the world, but a number are not so lucky and will suffer from some kind of stress. This can show itself in a number of ways such as finding it difficult to recall information, and becoming withdrawn, or even being aggressive with other people. Stress can even effect the way we eat, it can keep us up at night, and sleep deprivation is not good prior to an exam.
If you do find yourself suffering from stress then do not think that there is something wrong with you as it is a perfectly normal human reaction to certain circumstances, and most people will suffer from it in one form or another. So one of the first things you must do if you have stress is to accept that it is perfectly normal and try not to worry about it. Tell yourself, ‘Worrying Won’t Get Me Into Harvard‘. The solid application of study fundamentals will.
Although they don’t intend it, parents can put stress on students, and also if your own expectations are high as you want to get into the likes of Harvard University, then this can cause anxiety. To help you out listed below are a number of ways on how to best deal with student exam stress.
Always take breaks when studying:
If you are studying non-stop this can really mess you up and cause stress levels to rise. You will probably get agitated, tired and you will be wasting your time studying as you will not be taking in any information so you are wasting your time. One of the best ways research has shown to help with studying is to do it for 15 minutes, then go and do something like a walk in the fresh air for 15 minutes, before studying again. Each time you go back to studying you will feel much fresher.
Be careful what you put in your body:
Pumping yourself full of coffee, in fact anything containing caffeine for that matter is not a good idea as it is a stimulant so will affect your body. Do not drink any alcohol as this impairs your learning capabilities, and if you have an excessive amount you will find it difficult to concentrate the following day. If you are on prescribed medication then check the side-effects and also talk with your doctor, as it may be the pills causing your stress. One thing you should totally avoid is any kind of illegal drug as they all effect the mind in one way or another.
Don’t study alone:
It has been shown that studying with friends is a great help. You may think you will waste more time talking and having a laugh, however this sidetracking from your studies is actually a positive thing as it is no different than if you were taking breaks when studying on your own.
Remember that pretty much everyone will suffer from some form of stress during their life, it is perfectly normal, and a lot of those students in the Ivy League would have had some level of stress before they got accepted. You can learn more about improving your inner-game here. In the meantime, don’t suffer on your own, speak to friends, family or your doctor, they will understand and offer you help.