Examination Stress

Examination stress: it could be defined as a type of heightened anxiety caused by extreme pressure of exams affecting a student before, during and after an examination.

It is a serious issue dealt with by students throughout their academic life. Stress is a human feeling that is part of life. It is our mind or body’s natural response to what it views as a threat. When threatened, our body triggers a number of physical (somatic), emotional and mental (cognitive) reactions. Each reaction is connected to the other, so anything that can be done to lessen one reaction will lessen the impact of the others too.

The extreme nervousness, butterflies in the stomach, the sweaty clammy hands, frequent urination, the weak knees, the unreasonable panic attacks or blank outs: these are vital signs of stress in students. Symptoms of stress vary from person to person. Some students are mildly affected and exhibit few symptoms, while others experience severe reactions. Physical, mental and emotional symptoms are seen before, during and after the examination. They run the whole gamut from appetite changes to excessive tiredness, stomach cramps, dry mouth, fainting and vomiting.

The reasons being:

  • Inadequate Preparations
  • Inadequate Study Structure
  • Poor study habits
  • Poor time management
  • Pressure from Family and within

Parents too expect a lot from their children and therefore pressurise them to perform well in exams. However, keeping high expectations and pressurising children during exams can cause exam stress in the students. A certain amount of stress is rather considered to be effective and beneficial as it leads to alertness and careful behaviour in terms of revision of overlooked chapters before the exams. It thus helps children in adequate preparations but when it spirals out of control, it can have disastrous effects on them. It might lead to poor performance.

How to deal with exam stress: In dealing with stress, there are Dos and Don’ts. The many Don’ts include not being negative or rushed or are influenced by those more stressed than us. The Dos include positive statements, natural breathing techniques and believing in you. After all, it is just an examination!

  • Structure your study schedules effectively
  • Set realistic goals
  • Make wise decisions
  • Manage your time
  • Be Healthy and exercise
  • Believe in yourself


School Counsellor
Pankhuri Pilania
K.R. Mangalam World School, Gurugram

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