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How to Tackle Exam Anxiety the Right Way

My students laugh at me when I say the main goal of an exam is to enjoy it...

Project Academy
Team of Academic Advisors
Life Beyond the HSC

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How to Tackle Exam Anxiety the Right Way

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Project Academy
Team of Academic Advisors
Question: I am starting to feel a bit anxious about the HSC. Whenever I go through hard questions in past papers, I have a feeling that I can never solve them if they come out in HSC. This year I have gotten really anxious in my exams so my results have not been that great. How do you deal with all of these uncertainties and anxiousness during Year 12?

Rishabh Jain – Head of Product & Head of Chemistry

When you walk into that exam, there are two things I want you to remember:

1. Enjoy the Process

Your goal in that exam is to enjoy it and do the best you can. My students laugh at me when I say this, but I genuinely enjoyed the process of exams, because I loved the challenge that was associated with them. I wasn't scared about getting a bad mark, in fact, a bad mark became a beautiful thing, because it gave me a motivator, a push, something to be angry about and want to stay up until late to beat, and I loved that. There was something extremely boring about getting a good mark. (Of course, don't use this as a reason to intentionally do bad! Still strive to do your best).

2. Trust Your Continuous Efforts

I want you to be confident in yourself and your abilities. I want you to know that you have done the best preparation you could have, and that you will do the best you can possibly do. Nothing can take that away.

You are incredible. You have so much talent, so much potential to do amazing things. You WILL do amazing things. Please don't let your marks make you forget this. Exams are a spec on the surface of life. We tend to make it seem like its everything.

"Every decision you make is a vote for the kind of person you want to become." 

Continue to strive to improve. Don't make Trials or HSC your goal. Make the goal a mastery of your subjects, and be proud of where you are. Whenever you feel unmotivated, ask yourself if you would be proud of the person you are today. If the answer is no, use your desire to be proud of yourself to drive yourself forward.

Leticia Liao – Chemistry Tutor

Have Fun in the Journey and Let Go of the Outcome

What Rish said about having fun in exams reminded me of this Instagram reel I saw from Ali Abdaal - Remember This Is Going To Be Fun.

The last time someone reminded me that exact same mindset was Saf (director of Project Academy) telling me to “have fun” in my driving test, because I was anxious about failing again after two failed attempts. I almost rolled my eyes and laughed at him for saying this so light-heartedly, but I soon realised that it was exactly what I needed to hear!

If you don’t believe me, you could possibly think about it this way:

  • If you were going to absolutely smash a challenge, then wouldn’t it be double the joy to have fun at the same time?
  • If you were going to fail anyway, then why not have some fun in the progress?

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