When you’ve invested so much time, effort and money, revising for your exam, and you feel under pressure, it can be hard to not get stressed in the exam room. But of course, you need to avoid getting your knickers in a twist, because when we’re stressed, we can’t think straight.
While the answer’s right there in front of you, you have to eliminate the wrong ones, and you can only do that if you’re really clear on what the question’s asking you. The multiple choice questions can be hard, just because the options to choose from can become a blur if you can’t think straight.
So it’s a good idea to have practised a relaxation technique, that you can then use in the exam room, to keep your stress levels down.
There’s a load of ways you can do that, and one of the simplest is to deliberately take long deep breaths in, letting the air out again twice as slowly as the in-breath. Do this a few times, and it’ll really help.
Three things to note:
1. Make sure you don’t do it so enthusiastically that you feel faint!
2. Practice, practice, practise so that when you really need to use this technique, you’re already an expert, and your automatic, unconscious mind knows exactly what to do and what it’s trying to achieve.
3. Do this every time to sit down to revise, and it’ll ‘anchor’ your calm, focused state so that by repeating the exercise in the exam room, you’re recreating your ideal thinking state. Research tells us that you’re more likely to retrieve the information if you’re in the same state as when you were learning it.