As a student, you might be prepared for your respective exam, having studied the syllabus thoroughly, with multiple revisions. However, examinations are also a test of your mental preparedness. Unfortunately, one often dismisses the need to prepare their mind.
In fact, did you know that a month before exams, only 13% of students displayed stressful behaviour? But, fast-forwarding to a week before the exam, this figure becomes a whopping 82.2%.
Based on the above figure, the need for mental preparation is as clear as day. As such, to help you with this, read ahead to know how to avoid this.
The Illusion of Drawing a Blank
Let’s imagine a simple scenario to which an average student can relate. After months of relying on various sources and studying every relevant concept, you feel confident about your chances at the exam. But just a few days before, you encounter a roadblock.
Naturally, you might feel stressed over it or feel that you have forgotten everything you studied. In other words, you may describe this as drawing a blank.
Psychology has a perfectly rational explanation for this.
Mind-blanking can be defined as your body’s response during frantic moments. Even though it is similar to mind wandering, blanking does not have any trigger that can help it suddenly remember.
To help you understand this better, here are some reasons why it happens:
- A change in your goals or approach that may require a new way of thinking
- Anxiety associated with public speaking or performing under pressure
- Some prior medication that you might be taking
- A lack of sleep, also contributes to decreased efficiency
- Feeling overwhelmed, primarily due to having lesser resources than required
Thankfully, you can combat all these symptoms with the proper measures. But how can you train your mind to tone down, if not completely get rid of, all these blocks?
Read on to find out!
The Art of Preparing your Mind
The feeling of stress before an exam has been normalized by society. So, everyone around you may often dismiss this feeling, even claiming that it is a normal reaction that warrants no additional steps.
But to the contrary, it is essential to know that it is not. Undue stress can affect your ability to perform. The goal is to take the exam preparation for GATE, ESE, and PSUs in a calm and composed manner.
To help manage your stress better, here are some methods you can employ:
Get Sufficient Sleep
You might have heard of the phrase, “sleeping like a baby”. That is precisely how you must sleep before your exam. A night of sound sleep ensures that your mind is rested and rejuvenated for any challenge that it faces.
It is often recommended to get at least eight hours of sleep before an important exam.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Now, it is a common question to ask: How does a diet impact my mental well-being?
Well, by filling your diet with fruits and vegetables laden with rich nutritional values, you can improve your mood as well as your brain function.
In fact, your gastrointestinal tract is a hub for billions of bacteria that produce chemical substances that carry messages from your gut to your brain. So, eating healthy food promotes good bacteria, which also leads to an unhampered production of these chemicals.
The holy trinity of keeping a healthy mind ends with regular exercise. Even a simple 30-minute walk can do wonders for your mental health and boosts your mood. It also facilitates sharper memory and helps you concentrate on your tasks better.
Regular exercise also positively impacts your energy levels. Ultimately, you gain more resilience.
Give yourself a Break
It is perfectly understandable if you were unable to complete your assigned studies for the day. There is no reason to stress over the fact that you were able to get lesser work done. Learn to cut yourself some slack if you were feeling especially exhausted that day.
After all, you can always make up for it some other day when you feel energetic and motivated.
While preparing, it is important to remember that you cannot be in the same state of mind every single day.
Change the Atmosphere
Studying in the same environment with the same visuals and sounds can often become quite monotonous. Eventually, it might feel like a chore. To address this, you might want to introduce some changes to your conditions.
An alternative is to switch rooms if you are able to do that. Otherwise, you can load your stuff and go to a library or a friend’s house to study.
Granted, a drastic change might not work for everyone, but trying never hurt anyone!
Repeatedly touted as one of the most effective ways to release stress, meditation can help you calm your nerves. It might not be easy to focus on the activity entirely since the mind naturally wanders, but you can acknowledge it and concentrate on breathing again.
The act imparts a better ability to focus and concentrate. Moreover, it has additional benefits since it helps reduce anxiety and improves self-awareness in the long run.
At the end of the day, examinations exist to test your knowledge to verify if you are eligible for what lies ahead. Rather than focusing on the objectives of the exam, it is essential to give your best performance for the same.
Even so, keep in mind that the best performance may differ according to the standards you set for yourself.
Additionally, don’t continue studying right up to the time of the examination, and learn to take brief breaks and socialize with your family and friends to take that pressure off your mind.
You can also talk to other students appearing for the exam to feel supported.