Exam fever? Not a new term for everyone who is about to read this article as it is a given that we all write one kind of exam or the other at different points in time in our lives. Exams have been peculiarly linked to being a yardstick for class promotions, but that’s not all there is to it. Examinations can be taken either to get a job, obtain a qualification, or any other strategic matter which requires testing our emotional or intelligence quotient- depending on which is needed. Although exams may be a general thing, exam fever in its context is more rampant in students. In summary, an exam can be very big of a deal the mere mention of it tends to freak certain people out. This is exactly why the term “exam fever” exists.
Exam fever, or what I saw somewhere as examinophobia, is the fear of taking an exam. Exam fever can be roughly compared to anxiety except that the latter is a mental disorder, and the former is not but may feel like it. People who suffer from exam fever do anything to make sure they don’t sit for the exams that scare them. The effects may vary from person to person, and while some people try to overcome it in the exam hall, others don’t. Not because they didn’t try enough but because there may be external factors dependent on the victim’s fear of writing tests; this may include but not limited to pressure from parents/guardians, lack of preparation, or extreme fear of not doing well. From my personal experience, there was a point in time in my life where I always fell ill a day to when exams would start. My parents were always worried and I couldn’t help but think about how much I was going to be disappointing them. However, with encouragement from them, my teachers, and determination on my part, I was able to overcome that phase of my life – and I’m here to help someone out, too.
Here are a few things to do if you suffer from examinophobia:
- PRAY: This may sound basic and somewhat unrelated but it is a step that you can take towards ending whatever fear of exams you have. Tell God about your problems and watch him get rid of it for you.
- RELAX: The main trigger of examinophobia is tension. When you’re under tension, it makes the whole process cumbersome. Take a break, clear your mind, and reduce any unnecessary pressure on you.
- COMMUNICATE: Another reason students tend to feel the pangs of exam fever is that there’s sometimes no one to talk to, or at least no one to understand that fear. A problem shared, they say is half-solved. Communicating with parents, guardians, counselors or even peers could go a long way in easing the tension.
- PREPARE BEFOREHAND: It’s always hard to admit, but sometimes students can be the harbinger of their exam fever woes due to lack of preparation. It is therefore advisable to prepare hard even before the notice of an exam pops up. This will go a long way and lead to a rewarding experience.
- MAKE YOURSELF FEEL COMFORTABLE: When an exam is coming up, always make yourself feel comfortable when reading. A pack of juice or chocolate (Whether hot or cold) would be just fine when you’re reading. Chocolates especially have been scientifically proven to aid memory retention.
- IN THE EXAM HALL…: The exam hall can be such a horrendous place for a victim of examinophobia; you may forget a few things which you know on a normal day, the fear could even cause shivering hands, in extreme cases you could get the urge to throw up, and finally the questions could be tough. When you experience things like these, it is pertinent to remember to calm down and start with the easy questions regardless of the order in which the questions appear.
- Post-Exam checks and balances: It’s very normal to want to cross-check yourself after an exam to be able to decide your fate even before the examiner does to know what you got right and where you went wrong. However, this isn’t advisable for someone who suffers from exam fever. Just head straight home after the papers and observe step one on this list.
On a side note, failing an exam is not the end of the world. It’s an opportunity actually (though a painful one) to reassess yourself and understand what you may have not initially. In the words of Nelson Mandela “the joy of falling lies not in how many times we have fallen, but in the number of times we rise after a fall” To whoever can relate to this, I wish you luck, and I hope you’d feel better after this write-up.