How to cope with exam anxiety

THE EXAM period is fast approaching and as easter draws nearer coursework deadlines are looming and for final year students the dreaded dissertation is almost due. For many students the pressure can be too much, then a difficult time becomes almost impossible to deal with.

Sue Thurlow a counsellor at Coventry University spoke about the issue of exam anxiety and the services offered by the University to Students struggling with impending deadlines: “Managing the workload needs good time management and students constantly experience the pressure of deadlines for coursework , dissertations and presentations and also the exams. Some students become overwhelmed with anxiety to the point where they become unable to function properly and perform badly or below their standards.”

“We provide two workshops in the library that are always really well attended and can help a wider group of students, these look at strategies and techniques to help prevent anxiety build up and deal with it when it happens. E-confidential support service can also help direct students to appropriate services. The positive message is that anxiety can be managed and our aim is for students to achieve the best results they are capable of.”

The reality is that exams, presentations and dissertations can be life changing and it’s only natural that you’re going to be nervous but it’s important that you keep a sense of perspective and not let exam jitters turn into a serious anxiety, which could negatively effect your performance.

A few nerves are good, they motivate us, make us work a little bit harder. Worry too much and you could try and avoid the problem hoping it goes away or it can block clear creative thinking and lead to panic. A few simple tips would be to eat properly, get enough sleep, have a positive attitude and indulge yourself after an exam, allow yourself to rest and prepare properly for the next. The help’s there if you still need it, so don’t ignore the problem.

Other support and advice can be found on the counseling website, through face to face or email counselling.

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