Exam Positivity 101

There are always constants when it comes around to exam time:

  • All of a sudden, your study area requires a complete spring-clean.
  • Your old stationery isn't good enough.  Out come the new pens, highlighters, post-it notes, etc.
  • Paper cuts happen daily.
  • Procrastination doubles as you 'prepare to study'.
  • You realise that you are actually a lot further behind than you thought you were.
  • Old sleep patterns go out the window.  Your body becomes even more confused than usual.

All of these constants boil down to one thing - pressure.

When we feel under pressure because of an upcoming undesirable event, we become stressed.  Stress is a completely natural emotion and in fact - it is good to some extent.  We need some level of stress to give us the motivation to work harder.  We need that little bit of pressure to kick us into action.

However, many people let the stress go beyond that threshold where it is beneficial and it starts to consume them.

This is where negativity thrives, when the brain is not thinking logically or constructively because of this chemical imbalance called 'stress'.  We have all experienced it, and for many of us - we deal with it...

Every.

Single.

Day.

Another characteristic of this kind of negative energy is that it is extremely contagious.  It spreads like wildfire and can infect a large social group in no time at all.  Again, we have all experienced it at one time or another, and as much as we think that we can avoid it individually -

the truth is, we pick up on it from the people around us - whether we believe it or not.

That's important.

The people we associate with will dictate how we feel about an upcoming event.  (An exam, for example)

So I want to propose something for this exam season.

We have confirmed the following:

  • Some level of stress is good.
  • However, excessive stress leads to negativity.
  • Negativity significantly harms our ability to think logically and clearly.
  • Our mindset will be dictated by the people we directly associate with.

Therefore, there is a very simple actionable step:

Associate with positive people.

By surrounding yourself only with people who are positive, but realistic, about the upcoming exam - you can feed off their energy and it really will calm your mind down.  I truly believe that your performance in an exam is directly related to the way you walk into the exam hall.

If you walk in with a smile, confidently greet your chosen group of peers and collect yourself calmly and quietly - you put yourself in the best possible frame to  take on that exam.

Naturally, there will be good friends of yours that do not deal well with exam pressure, and it may be difficult for you to avoid these people - but at the end of the day, it will serve you and them.  There is always time to catch up after everything is done.

However, for that short period when you are in the battlefield, you need to be prepared as best as you can.

While I have used an exam as a central motif throughout this post, the concept applies to almost any other stressful situation as well.  (A performance, a meeting, a presentation, a sports game etc.)

Associate with positive people.