Розмовна тема: Coping with pre-exam anxiety

Розмовна тема: Coping with pre-exam anxiety

Постановка проблеми: You are so worried about final exams that you are physically ill. Talk to your friend about it.

I am in desperate need of help. I am very scared about my General Certificate of Secondary Education exams. Every night I fall asleep crying, being afraid that I am not going to pass them. I am almost the best at math in my class but my dad does not think I am working hard enough. I know I am clever but if I do not pass, my father will be disappointed in me. He is relying on me to do well, although he is not forcing me. I will kill myself if I fail. I am trying to talk to my parent about how I am feeling.

Dear Dad, I am going to tell you how upset I am. I would like you to give me some reassurance and support. You want me to do well at school but you must realize that the pressure you put on me is making me unhappy. You know, exams are a real horror for many of us. They are accompanied by a sense of uncertainty and the powerlessness to control the situation. The negative stresses reaction is heightened, the heart pounds; the breathing quickens and the body pumps out adrenaline. I shall heave a sign of relief when everything is over. I consider exams to be the greatest anxiety-makers. Still, we all have to muddle through them in different stages of our life. I know the fact of passing or failing exams has a greater impact on my whole future and therefore it takes me under enormous pressure.

Dad, how could I cope with the feeling of fear or panic before exams? You are saying that stresses would not be bad if I only knew how to handle it. In fact, it can even be positive because it is a kind of energy which, channeled constructively, can help me to concentrate better, think more clearly under pressure and work more creatively. Instead of thinking, “I cannot”, I should rather think about what I can do at the moment. You are telling me, that I should try to visualize the exam situation and ask myself, “What is the worst, that could happen in this situation?” Then I will find that the worst is not that bad, and that the examiners are not monsters but merely friendly people who wish us well. I should compose myself to achieve success.

Most of us forget how good we really are. We dismiss our oast successes and remember only the failures, losses and weaknesses. Such a negative attitude diminishes our confidence in what we know and what we are able to do. When we are in the midst of a stressful situation, we forget often that we have been in similar situations in the past and have done well. Exam nerves are natural and I can help myself by being well prepared, learning how to study and learning how to relax.

I think it would also help if I did not cram the day before the exam. In the evening, it is better to relax, go for a long walk or to read a book. You are recommending me to assume the same posture as the examiner because this enables us to establish closer mutual contact. Even if I do not know the correct answer, I should think aloud because in this way the examiner becomes convinced that I ponder over a question and he will be satisfied with my answer. I hope that I will pass my final exams well and I do ask you for your support.