Examination time! Yes, we know that sets butterflies fluttering in your stomach. But panic not —that’s normal. We spoke to senior psychiatrist DrMushtaqMarghoob about it. He told us how you can catch all these butterflies, where this anxiety comes from, how to handle it and much, much more. So over to Dr Sahib:
Doctor, what is examination anxiety?
Anxiety is an essential trait of a human being. It is a survival instinct. Examination anxiety is basically the fear of failure that makes a person to mobilize all resources so that he/she would overcome that stress. The response depends on the genetic makeup of the person. Some are genetically more resilient in overcoming this anxiety than others. But, there are other factors that also matter.
What are the pressures that usually build upon students during exam time?
As human beings we have our own capacities, resilience and vulnerabilities which makes us different from animals. The youth see the world through the eyes of elders or parents and if they incorporate fear in them with respect to anything, they interpret that as a threat or insecurity. During exam time, parents often tell their children that you have to prove your worth to us. We have done so and so things for you, and this is the time you have to repay. Children are made to believe that if they will not do well, then they are betraying their parents. And such pressures don’t let an individual to concentrate on his/her studies. He/she instead thinks of addressing the parents’ concerns.
How serious is examination related anxiety? And how serious can it get?
This is really a serious issue.We often hear that scores of young girls and boys commit or attempt suicide on the declaration of results.When we keep pressurizing them, that becomes a volcano of emotions and it erupts in the form of different psychological disorders. The worst can be suicide.This issue needs to be addressed.
Tell us, how a student can cope with exam-related anxiety and stress?
First and foremost would be at individual level. While preparing for exams, you should put all your resources to work in a planned and systematic way. Schedule your time smartly. Further, keep socializing with relatives and friends. This would act as a healthy remedy and stress buster. Apart from this believe in yourself. That’ll give you confidence.