It is difficult not to feel stressed out as a student during this COVID 19 pandemic. With the sudden shift of universities and colleges online, students are now performing all academic matters virtually including taking tests. The adoption of online invigilator services such as ProctorU that takes control of a student’s computer during a test has also not made things easier for test-takers as they have spiked up their anxiety levels even more. Such mental disturbance has a negative impact on student’s performance hence the need to be put under control. As a student during these tough times, here are four tips that you can adopt to avoid the stress that comes along with online examination:
- Connect with other people
Practically everyone has had their life disrupted by the pandemic, so do not be afraid to talk to anyone including your parents, guardians, classmates, or friends whenever you feel worked up. When you are also facing specific problems with the format of an online test or you are experiencing challenges dealing with proctors, you need to consult your tutor so that they can address these issues before the stress begins to build up. Despite academic matters moving virtually, a majority of tutors are also virtually available particularly when their exams are being done in that you can always call them for help. Additionally, you can also maintain contact with your classmates by setting up virtual WhatsApp groups so that you can discuss whatever concerns you have collected. Talking whenever you feel the pressure building up will help you alleviate anxiety and help you stay focused.
- Take frequent breaks
Studying and preparing for online exams is an energy-consuming exercise so do not forget to take a break because you have earned it! Compared to studying in school, revising at home has a lot of challenges such as not having a proper schedule or an ideal study room. At times, you might be doing it wrongly by reading too much which can make you develop burnout. For people who are working and studying at the same time, it can be difficult to strike a balance between school and work. With all these potential interruptions, you need to develop a flexible schedule that accounts for study time and has frequent breaks and stick to it. In case you are a medical student who has to take the NCLEX RN exam, you can adopt the NCLEX study plan to help you stay calm as you study. During the breaks, you can take a nap, chat with a friend virtually, or watch an episode of a funny series such as Friends. Taking up any of these activities will be a great mental break that will keep your emotions grounded. More importantly, you will also be able to absorb more content when your mind is at ease!
- Ask for more time when necessary
Timed examinations can make you develop unnecessary stress especially when you are struggling with connectivity and bandwidth problems. Exam jitters and the time count down can also make you slow at typing your responses making you unable to complete your exam within the given time frame. If you anticipate these problems or find yourself in them, you should notify your supervisor and request extra time. Doing so will ensure that you are not disadvantaged since you will be able to finish your exams as your colleagues have.
- Engage in activities that promote your wellbeing
It is easy to think that you do not have enough time to eat and exercise when you are preparing for exams. So you know, a good meal accompanied with physical activities such as jogging, cycling, pushups, stretching, or weight lifting will keep stress at bay. Research shows that people who often exercise have lower rates of depression and anxiety compared to those who do not. This is because physical activities make you develop a rush of endorphins (hormones responsible for relieving pain and stress).
Despite how well prepared you may be, exams will always give you cold feet but with these tips, you can manage your emotions so that you do not develop stress. The catch is to train your body to adjust to these changing times, get enough sleep to allow your brain time to recharge and reward yourself when you achieve your study mini-goals. You should also remember that you are not alone, there are millions of other students doing online exams as well!