How to manage FMGE Exam Stress?
- Exam stress one of the key factors that determine your accuracy & confidence in decision-making while choosing the best option in the FMGE MCQ.
- It’s estimated that more than 70% of the FMGE aspirants struggle when it comes to “How to manage FMGE Exam Stress?”
Educational self-efficacy: “the extent to which students believe that they can control the outcomes of their attempts at learning”
Causes of transitory FMGE/exam anxiety:
- Engaging in any activities that imply evaluation can result in performance anxiety (healthy exam anxiety is good for the performance called the Eustress).
- Little anxiety can be a productive motivator, but too much-unrelieved anxiety can lead to stress (distress).
Causes of FMGE/exam stress: Poor study habits, poor past test performance, and an underlying anxiety problem can all contribute to test anxiety.
Biological Causes: some people are sensitive to the adrenaline rush of the normal “fight-or-flight” response.
Mental Causes: Student expectations are one the major mental factors (will fail/pass), confidence, fear of failure &, etc (Poor study habits & history of poor testing outcomes will be an aggravating factor).
Signs of stress:
- Subtle stress response: At times signs of stress might be less consciously noticeable when you may feel fatigued or out of sorts or sense of “butterflies” in the stomach
- When you least expect to lose control, you may find yourself snapping at friends or becoming generally irritable.
|Physical Symptoms||Emotional symptoms||Cognitive and behavioral symptoms|
- Your circulatory system responds slowly, your sense of well-being is compromised, and your capacity for learning & concentration is diminished→feel helpless →poor test performance.
- Vicious cycle: test anxiety→feel helpless→poor performance→apprehension→more anxiety
- Can lead to harmful habits: under stress you may engage in such self-destructive behaviors as excesses of drinking, eating, smoking, and drug use.
Stress Reduction Techniques during FMGE preparation:
Structured Preparation for FMGE/MCI exam:
- Organize yourself for an effective & systematic preparation
- Avoid the perfectionist trap: hard & smart work really matters, not perfection
- Study smarter to boost your confidence
- Know your personality & learning style to adopt a strategy
- Comprehend the insights of the exam you face
- Plan & schedule your preparation accordingly
- Schedule time to relax: tell yourself that you deserve to take the guilt-free break.
- Familiarize with all aspects of the FMGE: Practice as many past exam papers & mocks as possible to nasty surprises (Less nasty surprises = less stress)
- Lack of test practice & self-assessment during the FMGE preparation: Lack of acquaintance decreases accuracy and speed in the exam but increases Test anxiety.
- Reward Yourself after the tests
- Find a study skills supervisor
Visualize the FMGE/MCI Exam Process:
- Imagine yourself at the exam for 1 min each day for a week before your exam (Anticipation & mental rehearsal decrease the stress & increase the confidence)
- Imagine all that happens during the exam: waiting outside → ID verification → security check → walking into the exam room → reading the directions & completing the filling of credentials → sitting good posture feeling confident and calm → Concentrating on your exam → answering the questions confidently →completing & coming out with satisfaction)
Developing Positive thinking during the FMGE preparation:
- learn to care for yourself & avoid negative thinking
- Trust in your work & believe in your success: that if you work through each subject day by day, and step by step, you will know enough to pass your exams.
- Say your name with the word “Doctor” in front of it & Know that you are on the life path that will lead you to your professional goal
- Convert your negative talk to positive ones
|Negative talks||Positive talks|
|“Difficult subjects & topics”||“Challenging subjects & topics”|
|“I should have studied more”||“I am prepared enough to crack this test”|
|“I’m stupid”||“I am smart enough to do well”|
|“I flunked in the previous exam”||“One bad test result does not mean that you can’t improve in the future”|
Appropriate Diet & hydration during the FMGE preparation:
- Water: You should keep yourself hydrated and help your body function to be optimal.
- Eat well-balanced meals at regular intervals:
- At times of high stress, such as at exam time, students can frequently eat too much or skip meals (careful about your diet at these times)
- According to multiple lines of research, however, the human brain tends to perform much better with a Carbohydrate/protein ratio that is closer to 1:1
- Care with caffeine: more than three cups a day may cause stress responses.
- How much sleep do you need to function both comfortably and competently?
- Statistically, 7 hours is the average amount of sleep that research subjects have reported they need.
- However, the variation is considerable, ranging from three to eleven hours.
- During your sleep, your brain starts mulling over all the things you learned that day. sorts through them, organizes them, considers them, calculates them, decides what’s important and what’s not.
- This process changes the physical structure of brain cells so that specific pieces of knowledge are etched more permanently in memory.
- In the neurology, these miraculous processes are referred to as consolidation.
Relaxation Techniques during the FMGE preparation:
- While seated at your desk, while studying, or even during an exam, take a moment to notice your breathing.
- To achieve relaxed breathing, here are the steps to assure a full inhalation and exhalation:
- Place your hand on your abdomen.
- As you take a breath, allow your belly to expand so that your hand moves out with the air intake. You will feel fat, like a balloon filling up.
- Allow the air to remain inside for a slow count of eight. Feel the fullness.
- Then, as if the balloon has burst, let all the air out with an audible sigh.
- Make sure that your body expels all of the air. Repeat this procedure for at least three breaths
- Breathe all of this in as you feel yourself relaxing.
- Time Required: 10–15 minutes.
- Step 1:Get comfortable in a place that’s free of distraction.
- Step 2:Inhale deeply through your nose→ feel your abdomen rise as you fill your body with air →slowly exhale from your mouth →drawing your navel toward your spine (three to five times)
- Step 3:tighten and release your muscles→ start with your feet → Clench your toes and press toward the ground → Squeeze tightly for few breaths and then release→ Dorsiflex your feet for a few seconds
- Step 4:Continue your way up to your body→ tighten and release each muscle group → legs → buttocks→ abdomen→ back → hands → arms→ shoulders→neck→face
- Step 5:few more deep breaths→ noting how calm and relaxed you feel → the end
C – Guided imagery
- Easy to practice: quickly calm your body and simultaneously relax your mind. It’s pleasant to practice, and not overly difficult or intimidating to learn.
- Get Comfortable into a relaxed position
- Deep Breathe From Your Belly: close your eyes & focus on your breathing.
- Vividly Imagine of a soothing scene: choose a “happy place” in your memory like serene beach scene → immerse yourself in sensory details → involve all of your senses → enjoy your ‘surroundings’→ stay here for as long as you like
- Use synesthetics: use ambient sounds that compliment your experience.
- Set an alarm: not to lose track of time or fall asleep.
D – Physical Exercise / Yoga / Meditation
- Physical Exercise to keep up your body:
- We all have learned the value of exercise as part of a stress-reduction plan.
- One of the best ways of getting rid of tension is to work it out of your body with regular exercise
- To reduce stressful muscle tension, make sure that you engage in an exercise routine that involves deep breathing and stretching.
- Walking, running, swimming, dancing, yoga, stretching, step climbing, or any other activity that involves your large muscles will revive and preserve your energy.
- Promise yourself a daily period of exercise.
- Yoga: Relaxation technique + breathing + stretching & exercise.
- Super brain yoga: Relaxation technique + breathing + exercise + meditation & somatic stimulation.
- Meditation: Any type of medication shall help to cope up with your stress.
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