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Topic: Severe anxiety around exams

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. missthea
    missthea avatar
    1 posts
    25 August 2020

    Hi!

    I'm doing my HSC currently and I get severe anxiety when it comes to exams. I more often than not get anxiety attacks when in exams and I cannot think straight in them and can't recall any information at all despite the fact that when not in the exam I can recall just about anything from my subjects. I feel so alone no one else I know experiences anxiety as bad as I do when it comes to exams except everyone tells me that they understand, but they don't. It would just be nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way and to see if anyone has any tips for controlling the anxiety when under exam conditions.

  2. Jasjit
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jasjit avatar
    129 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to missthea

    Hey missthea!

    First of all thanks for sharing your story and welcome to BeyondBlue online forums.

    You are very brave to share your story online! Well done! Since you are sharing your story - this already tells me you are aware of your problem and you have an insight- good work!

    So how should we handle anxiety? Well, when I had my year 12 exams my face would fully turn red. I would get hot flashed around my cheeks and start to perspire! My heart rate would go up. Then I would just mess up the exam.

    But what has worked for me is just committing myself to the process of my doing. I started focusing on the work, not the result. So later when exam time I focused all my sensations towards my body - like being mindful. But before the exams, I started doing meditation and mindfulness practices in my daily routine and when exams came - I aced them!

    I completely understand due to COVID and also this your last year - you want to finish strong. I wonder if meditation and mindfulness would work for you?

    Tell me more about what sensations do you feel during the exam?

  3. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    25 August 2020 in reply to missthea

    Hi missthea,

    Warm welcome to the BB Forums :) Sounds like you just made a good choice in reaching out here, a brave choice in that. I say this because I know for sure you are not alone in feeling this way, and it is actually quite common experiences for those sitting their HSC, and a common thread to appear on the forums. This is a good thing - by making this post you have not only allowed yourself an opportunity to seek support and feel connected, but a sense of ease and connect for others reading who may be feeling similar to you. I believe it's so common its actually been names "test anxiety", or "exam anxiety". Know that just because it's common doesn't not mean that its any less crap, to put it lightly. Your experience is unique, unlike anyone else. Jasjit question about what your anxiety expresses itself as can help us understand yours, so please share if you feel comfortable doing so.

    From what you have said so far, your personal experience of exam anxiety do sound super debilitating, to the point where you cannot possibly preform at the level you know and want to. This must be incredibly frustrating.

    I'm sorry that you are feeling alone in this right now, and that no one seems to really understand at the moment. For me personally I sought understanding in talking with my teacher. This was scary and honestly felt stupid and pretty childish but it was nice to hear from someone with so much more life experience and knowledge. Is this something you have tried or thought about? Sounds like a listening ear and some advice from lived experience is really what you need right now.

    These times are super crazy and stressful - especially to be going through HSC. We really feel for you and are cheering you on from the sidelines. Please keep us posted with how you are getting on <3

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