Managing
Exam Anxiety                                                        Dr. Hema
Tejas ShahResearch ScholarRai University, Dholka, Ahmedabad, India. Dr.
Hitesh N. DaveResearch GuideRai University, (Deputy Director, Principal, DIET, Anand), India.  ABSTACT Exam anxiety is one of the most important
aspects of negative thoughts and has direct negative effects on school
performance. Exam anxiety is a psychological condition that
involves severe distress before, during and/or after an exam, making it
impossible for students to do deliver best performance. As any parent or
teacher knows, exam can create crippling anxiety in students–and anxious kids
can perform below their true abilities. This is because highly
anxious children are more sensitive to failure and react more to evaluation
from adults than low-anxious children do. 
More specifically, high-anxious children have strong drives to avoid
criticism and failure because they fear negative evaluation.  In contrast, low-anxious children are more
motivated to approach success and obtain praise since they do not have as much
fear of failure.  These differing
motivational patterns have important behavioral consequences.  But new research in
cognitive psychology and science is giving us a clear idea of the link between
stress and performance, and allowing experts to develop specific strategies for
helping kids manage their fears. These potential solutions are reasonably
simple, effective and, as recent studies show, inexpensive. Some work for a
broad range of students, while others target specific groups. Yet they’re
unfamiliar to many teachers and parents are not familiar, who remain unaware
that exam anxiety can be so easily relieved.Keywords:
Managing, Exam Anxiety.Introduction:Exam anxiety is a fact in today’s schools. The
results of studies suggest that there are remedies classroom teachers can use
to support their students who suffer from exam anxiety.  Although there isn’t one specific remedies
that can help a student’s in anxiety, these remedies may make the anxiety more
manageable.  It is also important to note
that this research did not assess the effectiveness of such remedies, just the
fact that they exist.What is Exam Anxiety?Exam anxiety is the experience of intense fear before,
during and after exam situations. It is characterized by a pattern of physical
sensations, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. The physical sensations
involved are those of acute anxiety or the fight or flight response. Some
examples include a racing heart, sweaty hands, shortness of breath, and nausea.
The fight or flight response is our bodies normal and adaptive response to fear
and while unpleasant it is not harmful. It is helpful when it occurs in the
appropriate context, for example, in the face of physical danger (e.g. jumping
out of the way of a car and running away from a tiger.). It can help to
increase our attention to the threat and enhance effective responce. However,
it is not so useful when the threat we are facing with is psychological. The thoughts
involved in exam anxiety typically include negative predictions about
performance or the physical sensations being experienced; for example, ‘I’m
going to fail’, ‘I can’t do this’, ‘My heart is pounding so fast I can’t
concentrate’. The feelings involved are of fear or panic and the behavioral
component is escape/avoidance (or the urge to). A number of factors contribute
to exam anxiety. Causes of exam anxiety?  Exam
anxiety is a learned behavior for which the causes generally fall into one of
the following three categories.?  Lack
of Preparation?  Exam
anxiety stems from many sources, but is mostly caused by a lack of exam
preparation. Poor study habits, cramming the night before the exam, poor time
management, lack of organization of the text, notes and homework are examples
of being unprepared. Not studying at all or waiting until the last minute can
leave individuals feeling anxious and overwhelmed.?  Fear
of Failure?  Exam
anxiety can be caused by worrying about how others are doing on the test and
the consequences if you don’t do your best. While the pressure to perform can
act as a motivator, it can also be devastating to individuals who tie their
self-worth to the result of a exam.?  Poor
Exam History?  Exam
anxiety can be caused by worrying about past exam performance. Bad results or
previous problems with exam-taking can lead to a negative thought and influence
performance on future exams. Unfortunately, these feelings have a tendency to
intensify if you are already on academic probation.Other
Causes of Exam Anxiety are following: ?  Low
self-esteem?  Not
ready for the exam?  Exam-taking
environments that are distracting?  Highly
competitive environments (School or classroom)?  High
expectations and pressures to perform well from family?  Negative
attributions?  Poorly
designed exams?  Time
constraintsSymptoms
of Exam Anxiety?  Exam
anxiety may be a physical, emotional or mental response you experience, such as
feeling an instant headache, butterflies in the stomach or going blank before
or during an exam. Overall, there are three components of exam anxiety.
?  Physical
Symptoms of Exam Anxiety?  Headache,
tension, nausea, diarrhea, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, rapid
heartbeat, knot in the stomach, light-headedness and feeling faint can all
occur. Exam anxiety can lead to a panic attack, which is the abrupt onset
of intense fear or discomfort in which individuals may feel like they are
unable to breathe or having a heart attack.?  Emotional/Behavioral
Symptoms of Exam Anxiety?  Feelings
of anger, fear, panic, restlessness, nervousness, continual doubt,
helplessness and disappointment are common emotional responses to exam anxiety.?  Behavioral/Cognitive
Symptoms of Exam Anxiety?  Difficulty
concentrating or organizing thoughts, thinking negatively and comparing oneself
to others, indecisive about an answer, and going blank are common symptoms of
exam anxiety.Myths of Exam Anxiety?  While
exam anxiety is real, there are generally following myths surrounding the
subject:?  Exam
anxiety is an anxiety disorder.?  Students
are born with exam anxiety.?  Exam
anxiety cannot be reduced.?  Doing
nothing about exam anxiety will make it go away.?  Any
level of exam anxiety cannot learn math.?  Very
intelligent students and students taking high-level courses, such as calculus,
do not have exam anxiety.?  Attending
class and doing homework should reduce all exam anxiety.?  Being
told to relax during a exam will make you relaxed.?  Reducing
exam anxiety will guarantee better grades.?  All
students who are not prepared have exam anxiety.?  Students
who are well prepared will not have exam anxiety.Tips
for managing Exam AnxietyBe
prepared. Develop good study habits. Study at least a
week or two before the exam, in smaller increments of time and over a few days
(instead of pulling an “all-nighter”). Try to simulate exam
conditions by working through a practice test, following the same time constraints.
Develop good test-taking skills. Read the directions carefully,
answer questions you know first and then return to the more difficult ones.
Outline essays before you begin to write.
Maintain a positive attitude. Remember that your self-worth should
not be dependent on or defined by a test grade. Creating a system of rewards
and reasonable expectations for studying can help to produce effective studying
habits. There is no benefit to negative thinkingStay
focused. Concentrate on the test, not other students
during your exams. Try not to talk to other students about the subject material
before taking an exam. Practice
relaxation techniques. If you feel stressed during
the exam, take deep, slow breaths and consciously relax your muscles, one at a
time. This can invigorate your body and will allow students to better focus on
the exam.Stay
healthy. Get enough sleep, eat healthfully, exercise
and allow for personal time. If you are exhausted—physically or emotionally—it
will be more difficult for students to handle stress   and
anxiety.
Visit the counseling center. Schools are aware of the presser exams
can take on students. They have offices or programs specifically dedicated to
help students and providing additional educational support so that students can
be successful. Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Exam
AnxietyTry
one of the following relaxation response techniques to help control exam
anxiety.            Deep Breathing Method?  Sit
straight up in your chair in a good posture position.?  Slowly
inhale through your nose.?  As
you inhale, first fill the lower section of your lungs and work your way up to
the upper part of your lungs.?  Hold
your breath for a few seconds.?  Exhale
slowly through your mouth.?  Wait
a few seconds and repeat the cycle.   Palming
Method?  Close
and cover your eyes using the center of the palms of your hands.?  Prevent
your hands from touching your eyes by resting the lower parts of your palms on
your cheekbones and placing your fingers on your forehead. Your eyeballs must
not be touched, rubbed or handled in any way.?  Think
of some real or imaginary relaxing scene. Mentally visualize this scene.
Picture the scene as if you were actually there, looking through your own eyes.?  Visualize
this relaxing scene for one to two minutes.Tensing
and Differential Relaxation Method?  Put
your feet flat on the floor.?  With
your hands, grab underneath the chair.?  Push
down with your feet and pull up on your chair at the same time for about five
seconds.?  Relax
for five to ten seconds.?  Repeat
the procedure two or three times.?  Relax
all your muscles except the ones that are actually used to take the exam.ConclusionAnxiety
is a behavioral and emotional disorder caused by the activation of sympathetic
nervous system. In education domain, students experience high level of anxiety while
performing in exams. In fact, academic exam and school work are considered to
be the most stressful events of adolescent’s life .Students
with high exam anxiety and negative emotionality are more prone to debilitated
performance resulting in co-morbid psychosocial burdens and self destructing
behaviours. The teachers, administrators and counsellors should consider this
factor and take initiative to remove exam anxiety among students. It is impotent
duty of school administration to appoint counsellors to address hidden issue of
exam anxiety by providing suitable suggestions. The school psychologists should
consider these differences while planning personality development programmes
with special need to eliminate exam anxiety among school students. It is a
right time for the policy makers and curriculum planners in school education to
incorporate the programmes on coping mechanisms as an important module in
school curriculum and to appoint school psychologists for planning and
executing appropriate personality development programmes which modifies not
only the exam anxiety of students but also their improve  overall personality.  References·        
Agrawal, R., & Kaur, H. (1987). Test anxiety,
child rearing techniques and knowledge   of
results in the arousal of achievement imagery. Personality Study and
Group Behavior.·        
Kapur, D. (1982). The effects of test anxiety, locus of
control and intelligence on academic achievement in school children. Unpublished
masters’ dissertation. Chandigarh: Punjab University.·        
Mishra, A.M. (1988). The effects of test anxiety, academic
achievement and related study habits. Journal of Psychological researches. ·        
http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/school/test_anxiety.ht
ml#·        
http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-test-anxiety-in-children-definition-research-    causes.html·        
http://www.therapists.com/fundamentals/test-anxiety·        
http://www.yourdictionary.com/test-anxiety
·        
https://www.mnsu.edu/counseling/students/tanxiety.html