Examination Anxiety

It's been a while. I've been caught up with examinations and that's the topic this time. It's a very big part of our education system no matter where we go. Malaysia? United States? United Kingdom? Australia? Indonesia? I've not yet heard of centers for education which do not have at all examinations, tests, or the like. Every time people have to face it, most of them feel anxious. You too? If yes, congratulations! You've proven yourself to be a normal human being. It's very normal so don't sweat yourself for being that way. But now, here's the challenge we're facing..what if we're TOO anxious?

A few weeks ago, during the start of the Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM), a boy died before the examination. Yes, he DIED. This is no joke at all. But I'm not mentioning his name here in favor of respect. You can always google it though. In the case of the boy's unfortunate incident, he was already actually facing medical challenges himself. He died after (or during) the briefing before the first SPM paper. It was a shock to me and my friends as well. And subsequently, there were some other news where a number of students collapsed before the exam. Yes, it's partly true, SPM is one of the highest determinants for a Malaysian student to pursue his or her dreams or just continue studies. But it's no reason to get too scared about it.

In the book, "How To Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie, it is said that when people get too anxious and worried about something, they become very vulnerable to numerous problems including nervous breakdowns, ulcers and even death (though might not be stated directly). Have you ever heard people coining "worrying to death"? It can be literal. I always take it this way, if you were to fail your exam, are you actually going to die? Does it mean the end of the world? Does it actually forbid you to live a normal happy life? There are people who don't even have formal qualifications from the higher education but have become millionaires and even billionaires. You do have to remember though that they also had their share of hard work and hardship beforehand. It's never easy to succeed in a larger scale. The point I'm trying to make here is that even if (in any case) that you don't really make it that far in exams, life still goes on and you'll always have a chance to improve or take a new initiative. Yes you do!

Aha! Again as before, I'm going to tell you that this is no reason to throw that maths book away and just fail your exam. Rather, if you actually study from the start, study with passion and enthusiasm, you can actually be more confident and less worried or anxious before the exams. It not only saves your scores, it saves your life! Scouts Malaysia tells us to "be prepared" and "do our very best". So, let's be prepared and just do what we can. Whatever happens, there's always another way. Good luck in those exams!

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