Many students who don't necessarily excel throughout the academic year suddenly seem to do well once it comes to exam time. At the same time, many exemplary students freeze when placed in an exam situation even though they would have no problem at all with the tasks set in a different environment.
So what happens? It appears to be the way that our minds filter information about the exam itself. Some feel enormous amounts of pressure and are overtaken by nerves because their minds perceive this to be a threatening situation and react accordingly. Unfortunately, this automatic reaction, designed to be protective and helpful, actually achieves the opposite of the desired effect. Rather than helping to create an optimum state for passing exams, a fight-or-flight type response causes the body to become tense and thought processes confused.
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People who consistently enjoy success in exams seem to be able to access an internal state which will help them achieve all they are capable of. It's to do with their internal strategies, their unconscious beliefs and values. They generally believe they will do well and so they do.
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