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My Brain Was Blocked By Anxiety In The Exam But…

Anxiety is one of the most common issues found among students on/before their exams which make them underperform. In one such incident, the author recalls how her anxiety flushed her out of her senses and how she regained it during her exams.

Anxiety is one of the most common issues found among students on/before their exams which make them underperform. In one such incident, the author recalls how her anxiety flushed her out of her senses and how she regained it during her exams.

I buried my head in my hands as I tried to recollect the plethora of information that now seemed to be lost in my mind. My mind was absolutely blocked! As I scanned through the exam question paper, I felt more and more helpless.

I was totally freaking out. Cold drops of perspiration trickled down my face as I tried to concentrate harder and remember what I had instilled in my mind over the course of the academic year.

All I could remember is nothing. I just went blank!

I was tense beyond reasons. As I tried calming my nerves to focus and figure out what to do next, my block has started conquering my brain.

“How can this happen? History is supposed to be my subject!” I reminded myself to push my fog away.

The fact is, history has always been the subject I excelled in. It has been my escape from reality. It is the subject I study when I can’t focus. Or as some would say, it is my solace. I’ve always been fascinated with the past, studying history gives me wonderful insights of the past.

My history teacher had once told us that ‘history’ when broken down, says ‘His-Story’ and it should be treated as such. She said that studying history like a story would make it interesting and would help me develop a knack for it. Sound advice indeed! It did work for me. Since then, I’ve always studied it in the form of a story and have always tried to correlate one with the other while studying.

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Once I understood the plot of a certain chapter, it seemed to repeat itself in alternate forms. I guess it’s valid to say that ‘history tends to repeat itself.’ History classes have always been my favourite. Quite frankly, I liked being the teacher’s pet. My history scores have always been top-notch, much to the envy of my friends. But then, I love the subject so.

It is one subject that I’m always confident of scoring the highest marks and I expectated the same in my board examinations too. I was confident of securing the highest grade in it. I studied through the nights, learned all the dates and in general left no page unturned.

On the day of the exam, I woke up very confident. I wanted to make it my day and just give everything I got. On reaching school, my friends bombarded me with doubts and being able to answer their questions boosted my self-confidence.

Shortly, I took my seat in the examination hall. Soon the question papers were handed out and the reading time began. As I read through the paper the smile on my face gradually turned into a frown. I slowly started fading. My brain got blocked. It felt like I could no longer understand anything that was on the paper. It was petrified. I didn’t know what do! Tension started building up. It felt like I had forgotten everything.

I broke into a cold sweat eve while appearing calm on the outside. Then, I pulled myself together, drew in some deep breaths and soothed my frantic nerves. I can tell you, it was the most horrific moment of my life.

After 15 minutes, the reading time was over. The examiner announced that we could start writing our answer.

You can do this. This is your exam, this is your subject and this is your day. Now buck up and do a smashing job,” I said to myself as I started writing the easy answers.

I knew that I had to start from easy and progress to hard in order to regain my confidence and to get rid of the mental block.

Then as I progressed gradually, I began to feel at ease.

“Heck! I know this stuff.” I thought with excitement as my confidence was returning.

Slowly but surely my anxiety gave way to certainty and from that point on the answers seemed to flow easier. In fact, they started to flow as the blocks of my addled brain finally got unblocked.

A version of this was earlier published here.

Image Source: Image from Jessica Lynn Lewis through Pexels

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About the Author

Rishika Thakur

I am a regular teenager with a burning desire to fight prejudice, patriarchy and any form of bullying. I love to write my thoughts and hope that they connect with someone, somewhere and make a read more...

3 Posts | 1,843 Views

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