Is Your Child Having Exam Phobia?

I was just surfing through Quora and I came across a question where a father asked, “How to motivate my daughter for not having exam fear?” and it reminded me the time when I was a lecturer in an engineering college. It was the Parents-Teachers meet on the ‘Result Day’. There were the mixed reactions, some of them were happy while some were not. While talking with one of the parents, she told me “Sir! My child studies hard all the time but he does not get good marks. And this has been the situation since his childhood.”

The concern was very genuine and I figured out that it was the most common problem with other parents too. Next day after having a casual conversation with the students, I came to know that most of them were having good knowledge of the subject but somehow they were scoring less in exams.

In most of the students, the reason I found was the Exam Phobia or fear of exam. Thus I tried to find out the solution for that. I read many articles, blogs and psychological research behind exam fear. I shared my following observations during a lecture with the students at the beginning of the new semester:

“It is very common and quite natural that fear of exam develops before the exams and it gets intensive as the date of exam approaches. However, the intensity of anxiety varies from student to student. But it all depends on how you are going to deal with it. It is your attitude with which you will face exam that will get reflected in the mark-sheets.”

It is true that there cannot be one single fixed way by which you can overcome exam fear but there are quite a few common techniques that could be used to lessen the pressure of examinations:-

  • Try to find out the exact cause of fear

This might sound weird, but most of the time we lack to find out the exact cause. The fear without reason or cause is always more harmful. Thus have a deeper thought on what exactly you are afraid of ‘in examination’ – Is it fear of lack of preparation or is it fear of failing in examination or the consequences of failing. And if it is consequences then what type of consequences – Is it about your future or about your parents or about the people around who will make your life hell if you get failed.

  • The solution for the cause

Once you are clear about the cause, you can always find one or more solution for the same. For example, if it is the lack of preparation – Make a timetable for regular study so that you will be very consistent and it will boost your confidence unconsciously. If it is about consequences after failing, trust me! it is not the only last thing available, there are a lot many other things available which could fill that vacuum. Moreover, you can always reappear for the exam and score good marks with good preparation. And talking about the people around, they are going to judge irrespective of whether you get good marks or you get failed. So either ignore that or learn how to deal with it without harming your valuable time.

  • It is all Psychological

It’s always about psychology. We spend too much time in thinking instead of doing actions. Sometimes we think too much about failing part and it not only consumes our time but we develop negativity towards everything. Instead, try to remain positive like you are going to pass with good numbers or what fun you will have once exams are over. Ambitious thinking and a daydreaming always help in motivating ourselves. But of course, do not waste too much time in daydreaming. Don’t you think that it is worth a try!

  • Have a Backup!

Even now if you can not control the thoughts of failing in the exams or still you are experiencing fear about exams. Try this! Consider the worst situation that is you are going to fail in exam. Then what are all the other options that you could have to pursue a career? Or what are things you are really good at and can be taken up as a profession? This plan B will take out the pressure and you will be able to concentrate now on studies. Always have a backup in all situation, if not this then that! It will lighten your heart & mind. Actually this one I tried by myself during my graduation and this really worked for me in getting good marks in the exam.

So it all concludes to one thing that if you think in a way that exams are only the checkpoints for your knowledge and not the last option in life the fear for same will disappear.

These points in lecture helped them in a very effective way and it was confirmed when I met two of the students at an event last month. On similar lines, I read a wonderful blog that describes the basic and very practical techniques or the ways not only how to beat exam fear but to score high scores in examinations. It speaks how by changing regular tasks or following certain methods will increase the efficiency of the student.