Exam Nerves

Many of us will be able to recall how nerve-racking it can be to take an exam. Butterflies in our stomach, sweaty palms, a racing heart and panicking that we won’t be able to remember anything we’ve learnt are all common feelings before an exam. Feeling nervous is a natural emotion and for lots of people these feelings actually help to motivate them and focus their minds. However if these feelings become intense they can threaten an individual’s performance and even cause them to achieve below their true potential.

Who gets exam nerves?

Exam nerves can affect anyone, no matter how clever they are or how much they’ve prepared. There is a great emphasis in today’s society to use exams to measure an individual’s ability (e.g. for certain jobs, to drive a car etc.) and the pressure of this can be overwhelming. Nerves can become out of control and cause anxiety attacks and stress, creating a vicious circle leading to more intense nerves. This can have a negative impact on our unconscious mind and lead to more general, longer term performance based anxiety.

Preparing for an exam and successfully completing it is not just about how knowledgeable an individual is, but also about their state of mind. Feeling calm, relaxed, focused and confident when studying and sitting the exam means an individual will be much more likely to achieve their full potential. Accessing this state of mind is a skill and can often be learned by implementing new ways of thinking using different techniques.

Symptoms of exam nerves
  • feeling sick

  • sweaty palms

  • butterflies

  • insomnia

  • loss of appetite

  • depression

  • stress

  • anxiety

  • trembling

  • bad tempered

Treatment for exam nerves

Hypnotherapy is a common method used for helping to control exam nerves. The power of suggestion and visualisation techniques can encourage an individual to clear their racing mind and approach the exam with a cool, calm state of mind. If an individual is anxious, their mind may not be able to focus. However, controlling this anxiety often leads to increased concentration levels, allowing the knowledge to be accessed with more ease.

Hypnotherapy can be used to:

  • increase confidence

  • increase motivation

  • learn how to control anxiety

  • increase memory and concentration

  • encourage an individual to focus

  • overcome fear of failure

  • learn how to relax.