Personal Blog

Stress, Stress, Stress, and Stress - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone, I know that all I’ve been talking about on my personal blog lately is school, but since my exams are coming up it’s pretty much all I can think about since I am really worried for them. However, now the time has actually come. My first exam is TOMORROW and I am beyond stressed. Whilst I feel prepared for it, there’s still something that keeps on telling me I’m going to mess up. I don’t really know how to calm myself down or feel less stressed for it. Every time I try to think positively, the worst case scenario pops into my brain again. What if I don’t get the question I want? What if I run out of time? What if I don’t understand the question? And I feel panic again and don’t even want to study for it..

Fortunately, I have been watching some videos that discuss how to stay calm during exams and how to beat anxiety during exams. I think I want to genuinely force myself to stay relaxed in a nerve-wracking situation like this because I know that most successful people carry that skill: They are able to stay calm in stressful situations. I know that stress can blur your thinking and that most people who are worried during exams don’t end up performing as well due to the fact that they cannot think properly under that stress. That’s why, I’m planning to watch more and more of those videos so that I am hopefully prepared for tomorrow afternoon which is when my first exam is.

There is, of course, also the added element of getting everything over with. As you all know, I detest the IB. I can’t wait for everything to be over and I know that by taking these exams and letting the days go by, I am getting closer and closer to being done with this program forever. I think doing the exams is just getting everything done with, and perhaps if I try and remind myself of that tomorrow I’ll feel a lot more motivated and focused during my exams. You guys all know that I have a list of movies, television shows, and projects that I want to work on after these exams so I definitely think that’s another motivating factor to keep in mind. If I had another week left to study for my exams, I would be further away from finishing the IB and further away from getting started on my projects and the things I really care about.

The stress is also there because these exams are being externally marked. Even though I’m not fond of all my teachers, it’s still somewhat comforting to know that someone you know is going to be marking your exams as opposed to a complete stranger. It really feels strange writing for somebody you don’t know. On the other hand, I think it will be interesting to see how all of that works. Having exams marked externally eliminates complete bias and allows someone with a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at your work. Therefore, in some ways it’s interesting and I’m glad that exams are being marked externally.

Lastly, I don’t think we should have exams in the first place, so I don’t believe that it’s fair for me to feel any stress. Exams are such a cheap way of testing student ability. Some students learn differently and are able to showcase their work differently (whether that’s through a presentation, having a discussion with the teacher, making a video, doing an experiment, etc) but for some reason our world believes that placing 1000 students in the same room and giving them all the same piece of paper to do in one hour to show their abilities is the best measure of a student’s potential. That’s ridiculous. Each student is different and exams do not take into account those factors.

Shreya Sachdev