Whether students are freshmen or undergraduates, their academic years create multiple opportunities for stress. Even a student who works for a college essay writing service might fall out of productivity mode during the time of exams. After all, exam stress is the issue most students can’t cope with even in the later student years.
Add taking care of a family, working part-time, and finding time for self-development to the mix, and it is easy to understand why stress during exams hits mental and physical health in such a heavy way. Read this article to find out more about this kind of suppressing factor on student life, so you can understand what exam stress is and how you can mitigate its drawbacks.
What is Exam Stress Anyway?
Exam stress isn’t that different compared to the stress caused by critical life events. Both lead to a strike on the mental well-being of an individual, causing a physical response of the body at the same time. When a student enters the examination period in the educational facility, mostly negative types of stress influence his or her life. Sleepless nights over books, rushing deadlines, and fear of failure during the actual exam undermine the physical condition of a student.
Additional factors that may multiply the negative effects of exam stress are an adaptation to the new social environment (relates to freshmen), fear of being expelled out of university or college and leaving parents disappointed, and financial struggles to keep up with basic needs. When exams kick in, it’s only a matter of days for the body to exhibit the signs of fatigue that could have long-term consequences on health.
Effect on Body
Stress almost immediately affects a student’s body – decades of research into its effect on the human population can’t go wrong. In fact, stress constitutes a physical reaction to human emotion. When a student gets into the exam groove, several things happen if they become pressurized by the external environment:
- The body experiences a range of emotions that could cause the release of cortisol by the adrenal gland. The hormone leads to boosting the response of the human body, activating its reserve potential for situations that may endanger its life. Sure, there is no actual danger – students are not running from a lion in the savannah – but that’s what we’ve got from our primal ancestors.
- The excess of cortisol for prolonged time periods is the main cause of exam stress. Such vital processes in the human body as metabolic rate, blood sugar level, and the operation of brain regions responsible for memory might be pushed down by several iterations of cortisol release.
Post Exam Stress
Post exam stress symptoms may be all too familiar for students who just took their exam and are hoping to pass. The main types of post-exam stress are related to episodic acute stress and chronic stress that develop when a student enters the cortisol loop.
Episodic acute stress begins to develop when a person experiences stress episodes over and over again. Among the typical symptoms of this stress subtype, students may encounter such mild health distortions as migraines, hypertensions with associated headaches, and loss of coordination.
Chronic acute stress is the worst scenario if talking about post-exam stress in general. It takes place when a person can’t avoid being in a stressful state for more than a month or two. Health outcomes become more severe at this stage. People in this condition become the victims of weight increase, sleep loss, and social anxiety that distorts relationships with people around them.
How to Deal With Exam Stress with Technologies
Dealing with exam stress is a multiple-step process, and there is no general recipe for everyone. Stress management is aimed at reducing the impact of stress factors on improving your mental state, yet it won’t remove it entirely. Students can use health monitoring devices to deal with after-exam stress as well. Among common recommendations, you can use the following ones:
- Sleep well and sufficiently. At least 8 hours a day without interruptions is a good amount.
- Ensure that your diet is proper. Three to four meals a day is a must.
- Add physical exercises to the schedule. Morning and evening exercises do the job.
- Avoid stimulants. 1-2 cup of coffee should be your highest daily bar.
- Get rid of procrastination. Concentrate on the exam tasks and move your phone away.
Moreover, there are also technologies and software that might be beneficial when managing stress and monitoring one’s own health. For example, there are portable wearables (Apple Watch, MiBand, HonorBand) that allow students who wear them to track the level of oxygen in the blood, heart rate, and lack of physical activity. Speaking of software, there are apps like Headspace. During strict quarantine, most people found meditation and self-focus apps to be very helpful in managing stress and prolonged isolation. Students can install apps like these to spend time meditating between the exams.
We hope this information about exam stress is helpful for you. Now, it’s your job to make sure that the stress levels inside of your body subside. Using these recommendations, you can easily define the root of your stress and thereby determine the course of action.
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