The few minutes, even the few hours, before an exam can be a stressful and daunting time for most students, prepared or not. Our brains somehow define tests through negative connotations, even if we know that we are prepared for them. To avoid panicking before your next exam, you may try the following tips:
1. Make sure that you are well prepared, mentally and physically. Take the time to eat a good, healthy breakfast, and make sure that you have done all that you needed to do before the test.
2. Do not study in the very last minutes before the test. If you forget a question during this time, you can start to panic even more. Instead of studying during this time, just concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Take deep breaths (but not too deep) the few minutes before the test. One hour before the test, you should start doing some breathing exercises. Inhale deeply using your nose, and then exhale through your mouth. Repeat at least ten times. Then, close your eyes and allow them to rest. Try to make your mind and body relax. Try to remove all thoughts from your head, so that you can clear your mind completely. Take ten deep breaths again.
4. Two hours before the test, you should refresh your memory. Try to do this after you have done the breathing exercises, so that once your mind has been cleared of all of its excess thoughts, you can finally retain all the information that you need for the test.
5. If your test is a big and important one, make sure that you only study the night before. Only perform the breathing exercises, but not the studying afterwards.
6. Think of other things the few minutes before the test. Try not to think of the test itself. Just pretend that it is an assignment on which you really must do well.
7. Drink plenty of water right before and up to the time of the exam. This will help keep your mind refreshed and ready to work. You might even do a few minutes of exercise about twenty minutes before the exam, to get your mind and body going.
It may not be possible for you to always avoid panic before an exam, but you can help ease or at least lessen the panic attack by taking deep breaths and by knowing that you are prepared and ready to succeed.