The Unrest of Mind During Exam Time

Exam Stress

As the board examinations are approaching, it is common for the human mind to undergo exam stress or test anxiety making everything seem overwhelming and pressurizing. While stress can become a motivating factor for up keeping performance, too much of it can also affect your functioning negatively. 

What is Exam Stress?

Exam stress and pressure are often felt at an abnormal rate making you think that your exams are going to go gravely. As a result, you may feel haywire thinking that the outcome is out of your control 

Here, you need to understand the Yerkes-Dodson Law which states that, “performance increases with physiological or psychological arousal, but only up to a point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases.”

Unrest of Mind

In simple words, an optimum level of stress is necessary for performance as it pushes us to action but over-enhanced levels of anxiety may lead to impairment in performing giving rise to numerous negative symptoms.

What are these Exam Stress Symptoms?

Now, we are clear on the fact that feeling an unusual amount of pressure during exam time should be addressed. These are the symptoms to look for;

  1. Difficulty in motivating yourself to sit and study.
  2. Inability to make decisions.
  3. Having a low mood or feeling overwhelmed.
  4. Changes in appetite; eating too much or not eating at all. 
  5. Changes in sleeping pattern; oversleeping and struggling to get out of bed or facing insomnia. 
  6. Racing thoughts about how much study needs to be done.
  7. Inability to focus on things at hand. 
  8. Frequent headaches and tense muscles.
  9. Feeling sick, lightheaded, or racing heartbeat.
  10. Fidgeting, nail-biting, or grinding teeth.
  11. Sweaty hands or feeling butterflies in your stomach. 
  12. Inability to enjoy activities or lose touch with friends. 
  13. Feeling confused or getting blank during exam time. 

Exam Stress Symptoms

These symptoms may not only intervene with your normal functioning in life during exam phases but may also aggravate with time. 

Exam Stress Management Strategies: 

Everyone goes through performance anxiety and feels stress but in a different manner. Therefore, any management techniques for handling this strain may also vary individually. 

Some of these strategies are:

1. Work on your perspective regarding examinations:

Even though we have always been fearful of exams and worried about our results non-stop, it is important to emphasize that exams and marks are just a part of your life and not exactly your whole life.

2. Planning will take you a long way:

Plan your study hours realistically. Construct a timetable that is productive and revolves around prioritizing your tasks. Do not ambush quantity over quality.

3. Follow an optimized routine:

Your routine plays a big role in calming your mind. Your daily routine should not only focus on your study hours but provide you with enough time to rest and relax.

4. Follow a healthy eating and sleeping pattern:

A hydrated, satiated, and well-rested body yields better results than one which is on the brink of burnout.

5. Enjoy small victories:

Keep in mind that by winning small victories a bigger battle is won. Meaning, prepare short goals and give yourself a treat when you achieve them to reinforce your positive behavior.

6. Spend time in nature:

Plan your breaks and spend some time in nature with your pets if you have one as this not only refreshes your mind but boosts dopamine and oxytocin levels in the body- the feel-good hormones.

7. Seek help before it gets out of hand:

Going for professional help will not only unburden you of your worries but may also provide you with some perspective.


Examination time can be a tremendous stress-inducing occurrence that affects you both physiologically and psychologically. During this process, seeking aid from a mental health practitioner can save you in many ways and can also help you in enhancing your productivity and output. Therefore, it is a decision that if taken can reduce your stress and anxiety and provide you with a tool kit to overcome your fears.


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