English Essay Writing Topic – What is Exam Result Anxiety and How to Reduce it

What is Exam Result Anxiety and How to Reduce it
The word ‘Exams’ comes with a lot of stress, tension, and fear. Not only young school students but most college and university students also experience a kind of fear when the result day is near. The exam-related stress doesn’t depend on the capability or merit of a student. Experts believe that a meritorious student experiences the same amount of stress as an average student does while waiting for their exam results. Many may argue that exam-related fear comes if the student performs poorly in their exams, but it is not always true. This kind of stress or fear neither depends on the merit of the respective student nor their performance. According to many mental health professionals, it is completely natural for students to feel anxious about their exam results. In certain circumstances, the exam result-related stress stays longer than usual and develops more serious symptoms. This psychological condition is often considered as Exam Result Anxiety by many mental health specialists. Therapists recommend that this condition should be treated as a medical concern if the stressful feeling becomes chronic and the student experiences difficulties performing daily activities due to the stress. 
But in most cases, exam result anxiety is not a matter of concern. Waiting for the exam result is a challenging experience for every student. But some reasons make a student more stressed about their exam result. We live in a society where the majority of people are more concerned about what others will think. Many times, it can be seen that relatives become more curious about a child’s school results and often try to contact the child’s parents to know how the child has performed or if the student gets good grades or not. Sometimes, parents become excessively concerned about if their children get good grades in exams. While worrying about the scores, the parents often ignore what their children are learning in the educational institutes. Many parents impose unnecessary pressure on their children regarding their exam results and compare them with their peers or friends. Sometimes, teachers also humiliate students if they fail to perform well in exams. All these circumstances develop extreme psychological stress in a child’s mind, which has nothing but numerous adverse effects. All these reasons negatively contribute to developing exam result anxiety among students. Before understanding how to reduce exam result-related stress among students, let’s first know what exam result anxiety is. 



What is Exam Result Anxiety?

Exam result anxiety is a stressful feeling that most students experience after an exam, especially while waiting for their exam results. Not just young school students, rather students of any age can experience this kind of anxious feeling. This feeling is completely natural for students and has no link with any major psychological consequences. Exam result anxiety doesn’t depend on how well the students have performed in the exams or if the student is meritorious or average. Feeling anxious about if their hard work will be paid off in the exam result is the primary reason for a student to experience exam result anxiety. 
A student may feel anxious about their exam result because of a few external reasons. Parental and societal pressure are two of the most common causes among them. While many mental health professionals believe that it is natural to feel worried before the exam result, it can be a serious medical concern if the stressful or anxious feeling stays longer than usual. According to therapists’ advice, parents should consult a mental health specialist if the student develops more serious symptoms, such as excessive sweating, sleep deprivation, decreased appetite, lower self-confidence, or poor concentration. The chronic stressful feeling should not be treated with ignorance as it can not only affect the student’s future performances in exams but interfere with their daily activities also. Waiting for exam results can feel like reading a suspense novel as you don’t know what will happen next. This stressful feeling increases when a student is not so sure about their performance. If parents observe any behavioral change in their children due to exam-related stress, they should consider psychological therapy for their children. According to experts, therapy works best for students to relieve exam-related stress. 


Why do students experience exam result anxiety?

Though it is natural for students to feel stressed before their exam results, a student can experience exam result anxiety due to a few internal and external reasons. The internal reason can be the student’s excessive obsession with numbers and grades. Many students are more concerned about good grades or the best position in the rank list rather than their ultimate learning. They only study hard to get good grades or the best ranks in the class. But unfortunately, good grades don’t define a student’s merit. Passing or failing the exam affects those students the most who are obsessed with getting good grades. It adversely affects their self-confidence and self-esteem. Poor performance in the exam can make those students question their own capabilities. The human brain is extremely vulnerable to stress-related experiences. Despite having numerous positive possibilities, our mind makes us assume the worst. It is the nature of our chain of thoughts to assume the best for everyone else and the worst for ourselves. This nature of the human brain is known as catastrophizing, which is quite troublesome for us at certain times. 
Nowadays, a good exam result has become a part of status in society or achievement to showcase in front of friends and relatives. Similarly, a bad performance in an exam is considered the end of someone’s academic career. Another leading cause is parental pressure for better academic performance. A survey has revealed that 66% of students experienced parental pressure regarding their exam results. Additionally, this survey claimed that parents of school students impose more pressure on their children as compared to parents of graduate or postgraduate students. Thus, parental pressure can also cause exam result anxiety among students. However, the following are some primary reasons why students mostly experience exam result anxiety. 


Reasons why students experience exam result anxiety:


  • Unnecessary comparison with others’ capabilities by the parents and relatives
  • Extreme parental pressure to perform well in academics
  • An extreme obsession with getting good numbers or grades in exams
  • Pressure by the teachers to get the best rank in the class
  • The pressure of performing well in studies to pursue a specific career
  • Supremely high and unrealistic expectations of the parents 
  • A habit of over-thinking or worrying about every little thing
  • Worrying about how your relatives will react to your result
  • The suspense and uncertainty of not knowing or being unsure about your performance
  • Having lower self-confidence about your own capabilities



Effects of exam result anxiety

While many psychologists argue that experiencing anxiety before exam results is an all-natural feeling for students, nothing is good when it becomes excessive. Feeling excessively anxious about exams or results can develop other serious consequences. Many times it is seen that students experience an extreme level of anxiety while waiting for their exam result. Many studies have explained that anxiety is our body’s response to stress. It means when we experience or go through a stressful event; we become anxious in response to that stress. But extreme anxiety is considered a psychological condition that develops numerous adverse symptoms. Anxiety is a stressful feeling that consists of fear and worry about the uncertainty of the future. When it increases and becomes chronic, it increases the risk of developing some serious mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder. Let’s know the effects of exam result anxiety on a student. 

1. Distressing anxiety symptoms

It is natural for a student to feel nervous during the phase between exams and result day, even if they have performed extraordinarily in their exams. In certain circumstances, a student can feel excessively anxious about their result, which can adversely impact their psychological well-being. Psychologists believe that some symptoms act as warning signs here. It is important to recognize those signs immediately and take necessary precautions. Parents should keep a check on their children if they develop such symptoms. These symptoms should be treated as a medical concern, and parents should consult with a mental health specialist immediately. A student who is experiencing exam result anxiety can develop the following symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Feeling restless and irritated without any reason
  • Newly developed anger issues
  • Feeling tired all day long
  • Behavioral changes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Having frequent headaches
  • Extreme worry about little things 
  • Trouble performing daily activities


2. Poor academic performance 

If the anxiety level increases and starts to disrupt other activities, it can adversely impact one’s future academic performance as well. A student may become afraid of appearing in exams due to the fear of exam results. Thus, it will gradually ruin their self-confidence. Additionally, the student may become anxious each time while appearing in any exam. This psychological condition can affect both their physical and mental health. The fear can make a student less interested in studies. It may prevent a student from performing adequately and appropriately using their knowledge in the examinations. Mental health specialists argue that excessive anxiety can impair a student’s performance even if the student has the skills to perform well in studies. 


Role of educators in mitigating students’ exam result anxiety

As students spend most of their time at school, psychologists believe that educators can play an important role in reducing exam-related stress among students. The first thing that teachers can do is not to stress over the word ‘Exam’ in front of students. Educational institutions are partially responsible for the fear that students have developed about exams. Nowadays, teachers are more concerned about exams and good grades rather than what their students are learning. It has a direct impact on students. After a point, students have started to think that the exam is a kind of war that they have to win. Otherwise, they have to experience a lot of negative consequences. If educators help students understand the importance of exams and why exams are taken, then it will mitigate half of the exam stress among students. 
According to surveys, many students experience humiliation when they fail to perform well in exams. When the result comes out, they face harsh criticism from their teachers in front of their peers. Teachers should understand that such gestures and behavior can permanently ruin a student’s confidence and self-esteem. Thus, teachers should act carefully with the students and focus more on their learning than on good grades. 


How can parents help children overcome exam result anxiety?

Apart from educators, parents can also help children overcome exam result anxiety. The first step they can take is creating a friendly environment within the house. So that their children can share their feelings if they experience anxiety while waiting for exam results. The following are some useful ways parents can help their children cope with exam result anxiety.

  • Don’t impose unnecessary pressure on your children regarding their exam results. Don’t set unrealistic goals for them. 
  • Try not to have supremely high expectations from your children and accept them as they are. Getting good grades is not everything. Understand one thing that all students cannot get the first rank in the class. 
  • Try not to discuss the result frequently once your children’s exams are over. The continuous discussion will keep them reminded about their exam results. It can increase their anxiety. 
  • Try to motivate your children’s small efforts and achievements with your little gestures. It will make them believe in their capabilities. 
  • Prevent yourself from comparing your children’s results with any other student. Unnecessary comparison can develop self-doubt in your children. 
  • Don’t be stressed over what your relatives will say if your children perform poorly in exams. Always remember your children are more important than what they achieve. 
  • Provide unconditional love and support to your children. Consult with a therapist if your children are experiencing any kind of stress due to their exam results. 



How to cope with exam result anxiety 

Experts believe that a student can cope with their exam result anxiety all by themselves. It is not a psychological condition that should require medical attention at first. A student should try to reduce their result anxiety by following some helpful tips and tricks. Let’s have a look at how a student can deal with exam result anxiety.

  • Stop worrying about how you have performed in your exams. Try to plan for your future exams. Prepare a proper schedule so that you can organize your study plan. Always remember that hard work is the only key to success. 
  • Try to use your time wisely while waiting for your results. Engage yourself in fun activities to keep your mind diverted. 
  • Try to prevent yourself from self-judging. Learn from your mistakes and move on. 
  • Do practice mindfulness, yoga, and meditation at home. Spend more time in nature. Try to stay calm. 
  • Make time for your self-care. Spend more time with hobbies. Try painting, dancing, or writing a regular diary to spend your idle time. 
  • When meeting your school friends, try not to talk about exams. Stop asking your batchmates about their performances in the exams. Remember that you cannot go back in the past and change your written answers. 
  • Though it can be tricky sometimes, avoid those people who are making it difficult for you to stop thinking about your exam. 
  • If you’re experiencing anxiety regarding your exam results, share it with your loved one. Sharing your feelings will solve half of your problems. 
  • Plan a vacation, outing, or short trip with your parents after your exam ends. It will help you to keep your mind diverted. 
  • You can also consider career counseling if you are stressing over your future. It will help you to stay focused. 



Stop stressing over exam results

We all know that exams are important, but they are not more important than your psychological well-being. Extreme worry and tension regarding your exam results can negatively affect your mental as well as physical health. You can’t have control over some external reasons like parental pressure. But you can stop stressing over your past exam results and plan for your next exam. Extreme anxiety can develop more serious mental health issues which may affect your future performance. Prepare a good study schedule for yourself and work hard for your examinations. Always remember your self-care is more important than getting good grades in your studies.

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