HOW TO OVERCOME EXAMINATION ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

HOW TO OVERCOME EXAMINATION ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION DUE TO EXAM FAILURE.
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Examination anxiety and depression

EXAMINATION/TEST ANXIETY MANAGEMENT

 

INTRODUCTION: “When fear comes first, failure follows”

The major reason why so many students fail an exam/test is because they were afraid. Due to lack of confidence, they spend more time worrying than studying, thereby, building up unnecessary tensions for themselves. This in turn affects them in such a way that they will not be able to focus, read and comprehend. They experience some kind of anxiety known as “examination/test anxiety”. Test anxiety which deprives them of the ability to capitalize on opportunities.

In some cases, the student falls sick (exam fever). Sad enough, the more time you spend worrying, the closer the test or exam date. When the D day finally comes, it then dawns on you that you’ve actually not studied enough to get at least a credit pass. With that in your mind, “Test Anxiety Disorder” sets in proper!  You’ll start asking yourself questions like;

  • “How can I stop anxiety before an exam?”
  • “How can I calm my exam anxiety?”
  • “How do I calm my nerves before a test?”

You start experiencing some emotional disorders which most definitely results to failure. Negative thoughts yield negative results while positive thoughts yield positive results.

In this article, I will share some TEST ANXIETY TIPS; HOW TO STOP ANXIETY BEFORE WRITING A TEST/EXAMINATION but it will be wise to discuss:

THE CAUSES OF EXAMINATION ANXIETY

The major cause of examination and test anxiety is “fear of failure”. Fear of failure due to

INTRINSIC FACTORS: such as

  1. Unpreparedness
  2. Laziness

EXTRINSIC FACTORS: such as

  1. Cruelty on part of examiner/supervisors
  2. Incapability in use of exam tools. e.g, not being able to use a computer in Computer Based Tests, not conversant with use and handling of laboratory tools/ materials, etc.
  3. Unhealthy threats from sponsors. Let me stress on this.

I came across the story of a prospective undergraduate who gain admission after writing JAMB for a fifth time. He wrote and failed repeatedly that it got to a stage where his sponsor threatened to send him to go and learn some crap work if he fail on his last attempt. Although his sponsor said that in order to motivate him to work harder. On the contrary, such motivation could lead to anxiety on an emotional student.  The fear of learning a crap work might lead to sadness, fear and anxiety.

Haven said enough on the causes of examination anxiety, let’s discuss the possible solutions.

HOW TO PREVENT OR STOP TEST/EXAMINATION ANXIETY

TWO POWERFUL TIPS TO STOP TEST ANXIETY:

TIP 1: REMOVE FEAR OF FAILURE

If we believe that the main cause of examination anxiety is the “fear of failure” then we can confidently say that terminating the root cause will bring an end to the former. “How then do we remove fear of failure?” you probably had asked yourself.  Well, the steps to removing fear of failure are

  1. Be realistic to the fact that failure exists:- Failure actually exists but it is never a yardstick for measuring future attainment or achievement. Rather consistency, determination and experience are. The more you practice, the more experience you have till you become an expert.

History has it that most renowned inventors failed multiple times which led to improvement in their work, thus an invention.

2. Build confidence – destroy your fear:- Another known cure to fear of failure is develop self confidence and destroy fear. Friends mean well when they say, “it’s only your imagination. Don’t worry. There is nothing to be afraid of”. Fear is success enemy. It gradually destroys your career by;

  • Stops you from capitalizing on opportunities
  • Wears down your physical vitality
  • Causes organic difficulties
  • Shortens your foresight and
  • Actually makes you sick, hence “exam fever”

 

HOW TO BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE AND DESTROY FEAR

  1. Isolate your fear. Pin it down. Find out why exactly you are afraid of failing that examination or test.
  2. Take an action. There is some kind of action for any kind of fear. I suggest you simply “convert your worry time into study time”

 

TIP 2: SELF MOTIVATION

The second powerful tip to stop examination anxiety is to motivate oneself. Self or intrinsic motivation largely consists of internal processes that spur us to satisfy needs or achieve a goal. Think of possible incentives that you might gain due to good grades. Also think of the happiness that comes with it.

In the just concluded JAMB  2019 examination (in Nigeria), the overall best candidate (best grade in JAMB result) was rewarded greatly.

JAMB best candidate awarded by Lagos state

JAMB best candidate awarded by Lagos state

Overall best JAMB candidate 2019

Overall best JAMB candidate 2019 flaunts his awards

Overall best JAMB candidate 2019

Overall best JAMB candidate 2019

Think of possible rewards you might get if you do well in that test. Let it motivate you to work harder.

In summary, prevention and cure for test/examination anxiety solely relies on “converting your worry time into study time”.

 

I believe what we discussed so far is enough to console you if you had performed less than you actually expected in an examination. It contains enough words of encouragement after failing an exam. However, to add more reinforcement let’s talk about depression as a result of poor performance in a test.

HOW TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION FROM EXAM FAILURE

That you did not get expected grades in an exam does not mean that you failed. You simply did not meet up to your expected grade because you set a high goal for yourself which is highly recommendable. This does not mean that you are going to drop out! No! Failing an exam is not the end of the world. Some go as far as committing suicide. That is so sad!

Yes, failure can be painful and humiliating, it usually suggests that return on our time, effort, and money is null. But it is not true.  It is only but a hurdle on a track; a minor setback for a legendary comeback. Read the testimony shared by a first class graduate on the image below..

Examination_depression_Testimon_by_a_first_class_graduate

Testimony by a first class graduate

Examination_depression_Testimon_by_a_first_class_graduate_2

Testimony by a first class graduate 2

Let me share some failure quotes that will help you bounce back after failing an examination.

FIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME DEPRESSION FROM EXAM FAILURE

 

  1. Remind yourself that there is no success without failure.
  2. Do not dwell on your mistakes, learn from them.
  3. Remember that you are not the only one who failed.

    JAMB 2019 result statistics

    JAMB 2019 result statistics

  4. Create a positive mindset.
  5. Continue pressing forward – work harder.

 

I wish you the best of luck next time!

 

3 comments

  1. Esther 19 May, 2019 at 18:59 Reply

    This is very insightful and motivational. “Failure is not an end, but a minor setback for a legendary comeback” indeed!

    I am inspired

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