Managing your mental health during exams


Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

Kyndal Boschen, staff writer

School can be much more stressful than usual during finals season, due to anxiety regarding passing the exam, doing as well as all your peers, and finishing within a time limit. The website Today’s Learner says that stress and anxiety are some of the biggest and most common obstacles in the way of academic success.  

According to author Richard Driscoll, 18% of high school and college students experience moderate test anxiety, and about 16% have severe anxiety about testing.  Anxiety about testing can lead to many negative mental and emotional situations, such as fear of failure and viewing test grades as a sign of self-worth. Keeping your mental health good during testing can be hard. Jayden Tutza, 9, says, “It can be stressful, and it isn’t ever made any better.”  

Although, there are things teachers can do to help students with anxiety surrounding final exams. Turnitin, a blog intended to help students, says that one thing teachers can do to help students is to simply discuss it. If teachers talk to the students about the anxiety surrounding tests, then they can destigmatize it, and show students that they are not the only ones struggling. Another thing teachers can do is to set aside time at the beginning of the semester to talk about preparing for tests, and making a study plan. Teachers should remember to also put emphasis on the importance of students’ needs outside of studying, and how those could help a student’s performance. For example, getting a good night’s sleep and eating a good breakfast before the exam are helpful tips. 

Self-care is always important, but during finals it is especially important. There are many things students can do to care for themselves while preparing for exams. According to NC State University, grounding yourself while studying is very important. Try to take breaks throughout the day: practice a hobby, or even just hang out with friends. Taking time to ground yourself and to de-stress can greatly help to improve your mental health during studying for testing. Incorporating physical activity into your routine is also important, something as simple as going for a walk, or doing stretches or yoga.  

Test anxiety is a large issue among students, and stress around testing can make school much more difficult. Overall, tests and exams are important, but taking care of yourself, mentally and physically, should always come first.