WAYS TO OVERCOME THE FEAR OF EXAM RESULTS
Facing fear usually provokes three basic impulses. They are known as fight, flight, or freeze. What is your instinctive reaction to getting exam results? If you fear them, you could fall into one of these three categories. Knowing how to recognise the fight mentally, flight or freeze response will help you overcome the animal instinct and face your fears.
Let's take a look at each of these responses and see if you can identify with one of them and then use that fear factor to your advantage. Starting with FREEZE, then FLIGHT and FIGHT.
Do you freeze at the thought of exam results?
If you freeze at the thought of your exam results, you may need to find ways to release the tension you feel. The exam you wrote is in the past, and assuming you did your best; the results will not change if you freeze up and get stressed. This is an excellent time to talk about your feelings. Ask for some emotional help, reassurance or encouragement from someone who knows you well.
Instead of freezing into yourself, take up some form of exercise. The exercise will depend on you and your capabilities, but just going for a walk is a good start. Take your dog with you if you have one, and then you have a canine companion to focus on instead of your terror of exam results.
Think about the time and effort you put in. Remember, if you do the work, you should get positive results. Exams are a way to showcase what you can do. There is enormous pressure but at the same time. There is a great sense of victory when the results come your way. Try not to freeze but rather to ease into facing those results.
A flight response. Is that your form of reaction?
When you hear the word 'exam', do you want to disappear and hope everything related to exams will not be part of your life? However, running away from the results will never improve them or your attitude to academic performance. On the contrary, the advantage of writing exams is you can see a clearer picture of your academic ability.
Exams are ways to monitor your response to the exam situation. What kind of personality do you have? How do you feel under pressure? A flight response to your fear will not increase your ability to perform better and to accept the results when they come. The flight response often stems from the many questions that go through the students' minds about the events that come after the results. These are known as the 'What If'questions. A negative thought trend with worries about not meeting the requirements for other grades or tertiary education. Running away from answering these questions will not help with the results.
Try to keep calm and be ready to face the consequences of your results. If you put in the work and were diligent, you should get the results you were hoping for. Have a backup plan. If you do not get what you are hoping for, you can ask for a remark, write again later, or defer your college entrance and take a gap year. There are many positive ways to face the 'What If' scenario.
Finally, the fight response.
When you are ready to look fear in the eye and face your fears, you have a better psychological approach to your results. Facing your fear takes courage and understanding. A fight response to fear shows you are determined and prepared to stand up for what you want.
In your fight response, practise positive thoughts. Tell yourself that you put in the time and effort and did the best you could. Positive self-talk goes a long way towards overcoming the fear of exam results. Take some time to share these thoughts with an adult who knows you well. When you harness the support of another person, you have two people to fight the fear, and two are always better than one.
When you are fearful of your exam results, look at your reaction. Then, overcome the fear by challenging yourself not to be touched by a freeze or flight response. Instead, be proactive against the fear of the results by having a positive fight mindset.
Winston Churchill, the man who stood up to the enemy during the second World war, said:
"Fear is a reaction.
Courage is a decision."
Make a conscious decision to overcome the fear of your exam results based on the facts you know. For example, you did a study, answered the questions, and did your best. You do not need to react with fear because with courage, you can deal with the results, whatever they may be.
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