Effective ways to overcome anxiety of NEET exam

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Posted By Abhilasha Singh

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“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”

– Proverb

The freezing of mind, racing heartbeat, the fear of unknown- it’s all natural while preparing for the exam that will get you one step closer to your dreams. Anxiety before and on the test day can make you feel like you’re alone in the wilderness. You might feel imprisoned in your own mind, afraid that one wrong answer could collapse your rank. You are bound to get anxious before the exams get underway, and the stress only increases as the Big Day gets nearer. These feelings can be managed and planning can help a great deal.

Before the Exams

  • Set aside plenty of time for revision.
  • Sort through your notes, and focus on the essential material.
  • Actively use your notes – re-structure and condense them.
  • Think about questions you might expect to find in your exam. Thoroughly look at the previous exam papers.
  • Seek help and guidance from your teacher and friends, if you find something you don’t quite understand.
  • Don’t sit and study for long periods of time. It swiftly becomes dreary and your concentration can easily start to diminish.

Take Proper Breaks

  • Studying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will make you exhausted – burnt out even – long before the actual exam.
  • Plan to have one day a week completely free from revision.
  • Keep up with some of your other activities – try to get the balance right between study and leisure.
  • Get the support of your friends, family.
  • Be cool and adhere to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Practice regular exercise. Find something you enjoy – swimming, jogging, football etc.
  • Yoga, meditation or other alternatives for relaxing the mind, body and soul are worth giving a shot.

Eating and Sleeping

  • Your brain needs energy and it also needs rest. Eat little and often.
  • Eat quality food, including loads of fruits and vegetables, etc.
  • Go for quality drinks, e.g., plenty of water, milk, real fruit juice etc.

Revise when you are Feeling Alert

  • Make sure you take time after doing revision to wind down.  
  • Try not to go straight to bed without winding down.

Panic the Night Before

You have been feeling quite calm during the revision period but then the panic sets in the night before.

  • No matter how far the ship goes, just know it always comes back to its harbor. Similarly, learn to regain control of your wandering mind well.
  • Try to use humor to help you kill negative thoughts. Read a book or comic, or think of your favorite jokes.
  • Do your best to be well prepared – it will give you some confidence that you have done the work needed.
  • However anxious you may feel, try to avoid over burdening yourself. Instead, try to do something relaxing instead. Go for a walk or have a warm bath.
  • Eat something even if you feel sick. Maybe, your favorite cereal and/or snack. 

Panic Attacks during the Exam

The hollow and dark feeling of nervousness, anxiety and restlessness all creeps in when you sit in the exam hall. And, it’s absolutely normal.

  • Make yourself comfortable. Take a few deep breaths to try to ease the tension you are feeling. Sit with your eyes closed for a little while. Only then, turn over the exam paper.
  • Remember that you are not alone, most people will go through the same emotional turmoil as you will – it is only natural. However much you have prepared, your task now is to just do your best.
  • Take time to read through all the instructions and questions carefully. Do that at least twice to make sure you get a firm grasp of the questions.
  • Pick out the questions that best relate to the revision you have done. Do not rush anything. Taking time at this point can really reap dividends later. If you can’t decide all the questions you want to answer, start with those you have picked and come back to the others later
  • Plan your answers. This is a really important point. Five minutes spent on a plan and a rough guide will help your thoughts to flow.
  • Do your best to ignore everyone else while you are at the planning stage – not easy, but it helps.
  • Decide whether you want to do the “easy” or “difficult” questions first. Doing an “easy” one first might help to relax you.   Or maybe doing a “difficult” one first while you are very alert might be best for you.
  • Avoid perfectionism.  
  • If you feel the panic is getting worse – stop, put down your pen and relax. Breathe slowly; close your eyes for a few minutes. If it helps, put your head on the desk. Shake your arms. Say something positive and encouraging to yourself. Imagine yourself somewhere else where you feel happy and relaxed.

At the end, just remember, there is life after the big test. Life is more than scholastic success. It is true that success for you depends a great deal on how you perform at NEET, more so because it will aid you in getting your desired medical college– but what’s more important is what you actually learn and retain, along with the gamut of experiences. So, make it easier, be patient with yourself, and just do the best you can


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