|How to Overcome Anxiety about Exams|
"Let It Go" – the movie "Frozen"'s message
How to Stop Being Afraid of Exams
by Bryan Knight
Fear of exams falls into two categories:
1. Medical checkups
2. Tests to which you write answers or perform a task.
The first can be fear-inducing if you are nervous about needles or anxious about possible illness.
The solution to your phobia of medical checkups is two-fold: slow, deep breathing and imagining a positive "what-if?"
The second type of fear also arises from negative "what-ifs" just as the solution is also found in positive "what-ifs".
Amazing as it may seem, your imagination can relieve you of fear of exams. After all, it's your imagination that causes you to be nervous in the first place.
Just as you can upset yourself with negative "what-ifs" you can equally well invigorate yourself with positive "what-ifs" and let go of anxiety. For example, "what if I barely feel the needle?" or, "what if I score very high on the exam?"
Like "Arnold", who convinced himself that he would fail the written exam to become a CPA [Certified Public Accountant]. He imagined how difficult the exam would be. Saw himself forgetting the accounting details that he actually knows thoroughly. And frequently reminded himself of the high failure rate among students who braved the CPA exam.
This anticipatory anxiety set the stage for Arnold's failure. Indeed, when the hypnotist asked him "by what percentage would you like to pass the exam?" Arnold’s reply was "65."
"Why not aim for 90 per cent, or even 100 per cent?" responded the hypnotist. "After all, this is in your imagination so you could choose any number you want. Why aim low?"
Unfortunately, Arnold suffered with low self-esteem so he was too nervous to choose a target "over 80 per cent".
However, once Arnold understood about state-dependent memory and was hypnotised to imagine himself sailing through the exam, he wrote the exam with more confidence -- and achieved 75 per cent!
"State-dependent memory"? That simply means you remember something better when you re-create the mind state you were in when the event occurred.
Which is why Arnold allowed himself to study for the CPA exam while relaxed and focussed.
When he wrote the exam he followed the hypnotist's post-hypnotic suggestions:
- Breathe very slowly and deeply. Relax.
- Allow the answers to float into your mind.
- Write the easier answers first, do the more tricky questions later.
- Refrain from second-guessing yourself.
Freedom from exam anxiety can easily be yours -- by using self-hypnosis, or by following the guidance of a qualified hypnotherapist.
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Overcome exam anxiety