How To Deal With Exam and Interview Jitters

how to deal with exam and interview jitters

Know anyone who doesn’t feel jittery or anxious the day of a major exam or interview? Probably not. Does being anxious improve our performance? Certainly not.

Well, then why feel anxious knowing it’s not gonna help?

Anxiety is commonly experienced prior to a significant event, which in this case can be an exam or an interview. It’s counter productive because unlike positive stress, it doesn’t enhance our performance. A sub-optimal performance makes us even more anxious the next time.

How Anxiety affect students:

  • According to researchers, especially in the case of timed tests, many students tend to lose their appetite and experience panic attacks in some cases.
  • Students may experience sinking feeling and hot flashes before going for an interview or an exam.
  • Blackout in the middle of an interview or an exam is very commonly seen among students who are overly anxious about the event.
  • Lack of attention, unable to read/comprehend, unable to write/speak properly are some of the common problems reported by students.
  • Wobbly legs, sweating and rapid heartbeat etc. could also be present in many cases.

What triggers Test-anxiety?

  • Expectations out of self-
    We experience anxiety when we attach a certain standard to our future performances and adhering to those standards instils a fear of “what if I am not able to perform?”
  • Evaluating by comparing ourselves with others’ performance gives birth to anxiety and drains our energy on the day of
  • People who ‘require’ success more than ‘desire’ success often experience test anxiety. It is because they are obligated to support themselves and their families financially and feel a constant pressure to perform. To
    Financial obligation-them it is not just a test but an ultimate way of achieving what they need.
  • Lack of knowledge/preparation-
    Another very obvious reason behind anxiety is being unprepared. This makes us feel less equipped and may leave us clueless and confused during exams and placements.
Exam and Interview Jitters Demystified 2
  • High stakes-Despite everything being fine, some of us may feel pressure just by thinking what all would be at stake if we do not perform. This elevates our anxiety and depletes our confidence to perform.
  • At times parents may not understand their children and go with the conventional standards of performance. Parental/Family Expectations-Discrepancy between their capabilities/expectations and parental expectations may lead to stress and anxiety.

Ways to cope or prevent Anxiety:

  • Know the trigger-First step towards dealing with test anxiety is to know what causes it. Only then we will be able to plan our course of action accordingly.
  • Set Realistic Expectations-
    Where the world is chasing a standard, it is very important to know what we can practically achieve keeping in mind our strengths and weaknesses.
  • Face it-
    The only way to deal with something is to face it. Escaping would not help but keep adding to our stress levels. We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we face challenges.
  • Prepare and rehearse well-
    Preparing well is an integral part of securing success as it increases our confidence in ourselves. Rehearsing gives us a feel of examination beforehand and brings down our anxiety level when we actually have to face the test.
  • While we perceive other competitors as threats, we overlook the fact that they may actually inspire us with things they are good at. All we need to do is change our way of looking at
    Change Perception-competition.
  • In order to become a better version of ourselves, a SWOT analysis is a must. It is all about magnifying
    S-W-O-T-strengths, and reducing (or even eliminating) weaknesses in order to maximise opportunities and minimise threats.

Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right!

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