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JAMB: How to overcome the exam anxiety (fear)

Do not let exam anxiety or fear make you perform poorly in your JAMB exam (or any exam whatsoever)

To some UTME candidates, after several weeks of preparation, they go into the exam hall afraid and sometimes this fear can affect their performance in the exam.

I have written this post not just for JAMBites but for all students and all levels of exams, including post UTME, degree exam, etc.

Learn how to overcome exam anxiety (exam fever or fear) in this post.

Steps to defeat exam anxiety: This is about how I dealt with what some people would rather term “village people” behind my exam anxiety. However, this can also server as simple but highly effective tips that can help you perform at your very best in your next examinations.

This exam tips can help you a lot if you are the type that develops exam fever. Whether you’re going for your JAMB exam, degree exam, scholarship exam, etc, it’s all the same, you might need it.

About this exam problem

I know there are more formal exam guides available out there, some from very experienced persons, psychologists, pastors, native doctors, professors, etc. Indeed, some of those guides can be really helpful given the type of individuals they behind them.

However, the very simple but effective tip I want to share with you here is based on my own experience from so many exams. From secondary school to 5 years engineering course, I have passed through quite a number of examinations, quizzes, etc.

My exam struggle: the problem

I consider myself an intelligent person. Mind you, I am not average, I am above average. Maybe I am bragging here but, that’s what I know about myself.

However, I had a problem. Don’t say “here comes an excuse.” I know everyone has one excuse or the other for not performing well in their exams. Well, the problem I had was… let me call it my exam hall problem.

What was the problem? My exam hall problem was that after the exam, I would realize I’ve messed up… again! My exam used to be filled with one particular mess and that mess results to one thing – MISTAKES!

After almost every exam I came out recalling my mistakes. It got to a point it became like a normal thing that even before another exam I am already thinking I will make another mistakes.

That was my one big problem, other ones like forgetting what I already know happened in rare cases.

The solution to my exam hall problem

I knew I had to deal with this mess. It was killing me! I had to find a solution, once and for all.

Did I find the solution?

This time I had to look into this mess deeply, to find the root cause of my problem. Guess what it was… “Village people?” Come on, don’t be ridiculous. The problem was there inside me… It was nothing but exam anxiety. I would prefer to call it exam fever because sometimes it came with fever. But, let me stick to the former.

Exam anxiety was the mess, “village people” weren’t. I don’t even believe in “village people” crap. Also, the mistakes weren’t the mess, rather, the mistakes were mere consequences of my exam anxiety.

Oftentimes before any of those exams, I would be filled with anxiety. I used to feel my heart beating, the sound so uncomfortable and nonrhythmic.

The anxiety takes over everything – my days, weeks, months of studies, my self acclaimed intelligent self, everything swallowed by anxiety!

Someone might be thinking, could it be you were a lazy student? Maybe the type that doesn’t work hard in his studies. Well, just hold it there. I was NEVER the lazy type.

So, the solution came. It came not too soon but not too late either. It came in my second year in the university when I discovered the real enemy I had to deal with – exam anxiety.

How I dealt with my exam anxiety

In two steps my exam anxiety was gone.

1. I became FULLY conscious I have no reasons to be anxious before any exams:

How can I explain this?I  don’t really know but let me try.

It’s like this: when I look at how much I have learnt so far in that particular subject, plus all the past questions I had solved, oftentimes with some of my friends (Emma, Ebuka, another Emma and a handful of my other friends/classmates), my complete notes, everything was always a kinda complete.

So, what was my fear?

I realized I have nothing to fear. Believe me, before any exam I was sure I will not fail. Even in my days of exam anxiety, that was one thing I was always sure of and, of course, I never failed any exam.

So, when I say exam anxiety, I simply mean I performed below what I know I am capable of because I usually made unnecessary mistakes.

2. I stopped reading… Well on, not really. I stopped reading all night before the exam day:

I used to do what we called “all night jacking” before the next morning (exam day). In all night jacking the student will stay awake reading throughout the night!

What was I reading during my night jacking? NOTHING! Yes, nothing because I am the type that try to plan ahead and cover everything I need to study before the exam period.

But why did I do “all night jacking?” Well, I thought it was something I had to do. I thought that the night before the exam day should be devoted to reading, calculations, graphs, everything I can put together again.

But the problem was that all night jacking backfired for me in all the cases.

When I was in school, I don’t feel comfortable when I skip night sleep. Sometimes I feel it in my head, my heart not calm, and I could be a kinda disorganized within me. Everything inside me a kinda screening “we need some sleep!” Put all these together and you have a me that’s half anxious.

So, I simply eliminated the problem. From then on I sleep like never before, especially whenever I have exam the next day!

How did that work for me? Excellently! I wake up the next day in sound spirit, sound mind, clear eyes, calm and calm and GOOD TO GO!

In fact, I stopped night classes (or “night jacking” as we called it) altogether. Night classes didn’t work for me. I realized that one of the most important part of my studies is sound night sleeps.

Alright guys, your own case may be different from mine, but I know many students might be going through this problem I went through.

How to deal with your own exam hall problem? Figure out the root cause of the problem and eliminate it. Please share this post. All the best.

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