Conquering Exam Stress and Anxiety:
A Journey to Empowerment

Understanding and Overcoming Exam Anxiety: A Comprehensive Guide

Over the years, I have met lots of clients with exam or test anxiety. In fact, I have also experienced this myself, leading me to study the subject and find ways to help myself and others.

In 2019, I did some research as part of an MSc on test anxiety to show the effectiveness of providing hypnosis face-to-face in my office and online. Both groups reduced their test anxiety.

Luckily, I don’t have exam anxiety any more because I have learnt to overcome it.

Here is some background information about exam anxiety that will help you overcome this problem.

Free 30 Minute Consultation

Stop exam anxiety taking over. Contact Linda to arrange your first free consultation. 

What is Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety, also known as test anxiety or exam stress, is a psychological condition. It’s related to the situation. There are many symptoms that you may have. For example, some people can become intensely worried, have racing thoughts and have physical discomfort related to exams. Some people can’t sleep, get tummy problems, lose concentration, and believe they aren’t good enough.

Here are some straightforward definitions that I like.

‘Anxiety can be defined as a fear that persists even when a salient threat is not present.’ (Nash, M. & Barnier, 2012.)

Test anxiety is an:

‘…unpleasant state characterised by feelings of tension and apprehension, worrisome thoughts, and the activation of the autonomic nervous system when an individual faces evaluative achievement-demanding situations.’ (Spielberger 1972).

Help for Exam Anxiety

I offer a unique mixture of hypnotherapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and coaching to help you get the results you want fast.

Hypnotherapy can help as it allows you to relax and gives you positive suggestions to change.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps you to change negative thoughts and behaviours.

Coaching helps you to get past the barriers to studying and enables you to plan and implement goals.

As a result of using my service, you can expect that

  • You will get a professional service tailored to your needs.
  • You will learn to relax.
  • You will understand how exam anxiety is affecting you and learn to prepare in the best way for you.
  • You will be able to use a positive mindset to give your best efforts during the exam.

Causes of Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety arises from biological responses, cognitive attention theories, social learning theories, and practical reasons. For example:

Fear of Failure: Fears are worries or concerns about failing the exam, disappointing others or problems associated with career options.

Lack of Preparation: Insufficient preparation can lead to increased anxiety.

Past Negative Experiences: Poor past performances can set a precedent for future anxiety.

High Expectations: Pressure from oneself or others to excel can heighten stress.

Peer Comparison: Comparing oneself with others adds to the pressure.

Impacts of Exam Anxiety

Exam and test anxiety have no barriers so it can affect anyone from any culture, all nationalities, all ages and all backgrounds. Exam anxiety manifests in several ways:

Cognitive: Issues like difficulty concentrating and negative self-talk.

Emotional: Feelings of panic or helplessness.

Physical: Symptoms such as nausea or headaches.

Behavioural: Tendencies like procrastination or changes in eating patterns (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

Ways to Manage Exam Anxiety

No one method has been proven to help everyone, as exam anxiety is complex, and everyone is different.
Effective strategies include:

Hypnotherapy: This involves guided relaxation to achieve a trance-like state, helping to rewire negative thought patterns (Hammond, 2010).

Many techniques can be used to reframe and desensitise the person from exam anxiety, as well as positive suggestions and motivation to help them study and succeed. You can also learn self-hypnosis.

If the problem is procrastination or difficulty planning and setting goals, hypnotherapy can also help with that.

Preparation and Study Techniques: Proper study habits and time management reduce unpreparedness. Counselling and coaching can also help with these issues by allowing you to talk through the problems and support you in finding the solutions.

Mindfulness and Relaxation: Techniques like meditation help manage physical symptoms (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).

Psychoeducation.

Positive Visualisation: Imagining success to counteract negative thoughts. This visualisation can be achieved through hypnosis or counselling techniques.

Seeking Support: Talking to counsellors or support groups for advice. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Getting help from teachers.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and balanced diet.

Exam Strategy Planning includes understanding exam formats and practising with past papers.

Medication.

Self-Care: Maintaining hobbies and social connections during exam preparation.

Other complementary therapies: for example, acupuncture, massage, reflexology etc.

Conclusion

Exam anxiety is a complex issue but manageable through various strategies. Understanding its causes and impacts is vital to managing it effectively and improving performance.

I help adults and teenagers with all types of exam and test anxiety. For example, work-based exams and tests, driving tests, sports tests, second language tests, GCSEs and A Level tests, accountancy and law tests, and all other academic tests.

Hypnotherapy, counselling and coaching, and services offered through Awaken the Change are ways that I can help.

Free 30 Minute Consultation

Stop exam anxiety taking over. Contact Linda to arrange your first free consultation. 

References:

Hammond, D. C. (2010). Hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety- and stress-related disorders. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 10(2), 263-273.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144-156.

Nash, M & Barnier, A. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Hypnosis. Theory, Research and Practice.Oxford, Oxford University Press. p535.

Sawchuck, C. (2020). Test anxiety: Can it be treated? Mayo Clinic. Accessed online 15/11/23. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/test-anxiety/faq-20058195#:~:text=Talk%20therapy%20(psychotherapy)%20with%20a,through%20an%20employee%20assistance%20program.

Online Hypnotherapy for Exam Anxiety

Book an online hypnotherapy programme for exam anxiety and you get:

  • A free initial, no obligation consultation via webcam or on the telephone.
  • An assessment to check that this will be the best way forward for you.
  • 3 personalised hypnotherapy sessions via webcam.
  • An audio recording to listen to between sessions (MP3).
  • A handout called Preparing for Exams.

Online hypnotherapy has many benefits to anxious people like you because it makes getting help easy. There is no added anxiety of travelling to see a hypnotherapist and finding out about their practice. All you need is the correct equipment and internet connection and the determination to improve by using my expert guidance and the power of your mind.

Simply request a free, no obligation, initial consultation by telephone or webcam (Skype, Zoom or Vsee), by clicking the button.

If you you are suffering with exam anxiety contact me today.

Get Help with Exam Anxiety

Hypnotherapy Prices

NB All payments to be made online before the session or programme or on the day only if in person in my office.

How to Book

Unlike some therapists, I want to make sure you get the right therapy before you buy.
I offer a free 30-minute consultation so we can get to know each other first.

Hypnotherapy Sessions at My Practice

If you live in or around the Bournemouth area, you may prefer to visit my practice for your hypnotherapy sessions.

I provide a safe, relaxing and calm environment where we can start to overcome your anxiety. The practice is easy to find, and plenty of free parking is available, as well as being on local bus routes.

However, your first free consultation will always be online, and many of my clients find this works better for them.

Online Hypnotherapy

Online hypnotherapy is worth considering, especially if you find it hard to travel or live outside the Bournemouth area.

I have been trained in providing online hypnotherapy and have clients from around the world. Providing you have access to a private internet connection and webcam; there is no reason why this wouldn't work for you.

Online hypnosis has many benefits, which include cost-effectiveness, comfort and practicality.

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