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Psychotherapist gives tips against exam anxiety
Fear of exams is a common side effect of your studies. Those affected can often no longer sleep properly days before a test and are afraid of failing at the crucial moment. But there are simple methods that can be used to counter exam anxiety.
Exam anxiety is very common. “Einstein was already scared of exams. There is data in the USA that shows that examination anxiety has increased in recent years simply because more is being examined, ”said Professor Anne Frenzel of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (LMU) in an interview. But those affected can do something about it. The psychotherapist Prof. Jörg Frommer, director of the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at Magdeburg University Medicine, has a few recommendations.
Learn in a group
Prof. Frommer recommends learning in a group. "When I am forced to explain something to others and when my knowledge is questioned, it has a relaxing effect," explains the expert in a message. In addition, you can ask your examiner in advance to talk about the general conditions. "It is helpful to know the person and to feel taken seriously."
He has another tip: be aware of negative experiences and mentally separate them from the exam. For example, if you had a very strict teacher as a child, you can feel reminded of it in the face of the examiner.
However, Prof. Frommer doesn't think much of the much-cited idea of introducing himself to the professor. "It doesn't really help because it's not realistic. In the figurative sense, after all, the person who makes himself naked is the examinee and not the examiner. "
Provide targeted relaxation
Some guidelines that help deal with exam anxiety are also summarized in a guide from Bielefeld University. In addition to the thorough learning of the exam material, you should also bear in mind that you are not helpless, since you have prepared well.
"You also remember earlier exams that, despite great fears in the end, weren't so dramatic in the end," write the experts. It is also helpful to imagine success instead of brooding.
Another tip: "Write down motivating statements (for example:" I can do it! "," I can do it! ") And place them in a clearly visible place. So you can take a look at it again and again and internalize these positive self-instructions. "
Since exams naturally cause stress, relaxation should be taken care of in advance. Useful methods for regenerating yourself are doing sports and practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress. We recommend yoga, progressive muscle relaxation or autogenic training.
Exam anxiety can promote attention and motivation
Prof. Frommer also points out that exam anxiety - to a normal extent - is positive because it promotes attention and motivation. However, it often occurs in an exaggerated form: “Even in the normal population without special stresses, at least 15 percent are mentally stressed. This number is at least twice as high in tests. "
The expert explains the difference between normal and exaggerated fear as follows: “If I lie awake a little longer in the evening before an exam and think about everything that might be asked, that's normal. But when I lie awake until three o'clock, I sweat and tremble, my mind races, that's too much excitement. ”(Ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.