Examinations generally instil a sense of fear and dread in you, however old you are. Whether the examinations you have come at the end of high school or during your time at university, you still get stressed about them. You start to panic that you haven’t done enough revision and that you’re going to fail, which generally doesn’t improve your performance. Ideally, you should keep a cool head and focus on doing the best job you possibly can, rather than dwelling on the potential for failure. This may be easier said than done, but if you do all you can before the exam at least you will know that you are fully prepared for what lie ahead.
Thus, if you want to stop yourself panicking before an exam, you have to ensure that you give yourself enough time to revise the material that will be covered in the examination paper. You need to re-read your notes and fill in any gaps. You have to make the information stick in your head somehow and so you may decide to use mind maps to link all the ideas and concepts together; to give them some kind of relevance to you and help you make sense of the issues. You also need to go through your notes more than once, so that you keep drilling into your head all the essential facts and figures you’re going to need to recall in the exam.
You should also look through past examination papers and practise answering some of the questions, so that when you enter the examination hall and turn over the exam paper it won’t come as a complete shock. If you know the layout of the paper and the types of questions you’re going to be asked you will at least feel confident that you will know what to do and that you won’t be penalised for making silly mistakes.
Even when you’re fully prepared for an exam, you can still feel tense and concerned about the outcome. However, you shouldn’t let your emotions get in the way of you achieving success in the examination. The day before an exam you should make sure you go to bed early and get enough sleep; on the day of the exam you need to eat breakfast and ensure you’ve got all the pens and anything else you may need. If you’re really stressed you may want to take a walk to the school or university building where the exam is being held so that you can clear your mind.
In the end, there isn’t much point panicking when this is only likely to harm rather than help your exam performance.