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How to Overcome Exam Anxiety While Preparing for GATE/ESE in 8 Steps

While it is normal to feel a little nervous during your GATE/ESE prep, leaving your anxiety unattended can cause many problems, even long-standing ones. Here is how to overcome exam anxiety in 8 steps!

Tanisha Chouhan

You go to the exam hall well-prepared, and once the exam starts, your mind goes blank, your hands sweat, and you feel aloof. If you can relate to this situation, you have experienced exam anxiety. A lot of students end up getting low scores despite working so hard for the exam. This is yet another consequence of exam anxiety. While it is normal to feel a little nervous during the exam season, leaving your anxiety unattended can cause many problems, even long-standing ones. It may adversely affect your confidence and self-esteem. It may even cause health issues.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, test anxiety manifests three types of symptoms: physical (headache, dizziness, diarrhea, sweating), behavioural (lack of concentration and proper comprehension) and emotional (anger, frustration and fear).

This article will discuss a few essential but simple things you can do during your GATE/ESE preparation to overcome your exam anxiety.

  • As the first step, you must have a good understanding of the GATE/ESE syllabus.
  • Create a preparation strategy and a study plan to get the best out of your preparation.
  • Strictly follow your study plan.
  • Take notes while listening to the online class and reading the study materials.
  • Regularly revise the topics you have covered – in a day, a week and a month.
  • Do not waste your time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
  • Make yourself accountable for everything that you do during your preparation.
  • Practise online tests and work out previous years' questions regularly.
  • Practice memory boosting techniques for better retention of key points, concepts and formulas.


  • Religiously follow the study plan to get benefited from it.
  • Regularity increases efficiency, so do everything as per the study plan without fail.
  • Even if you are attending an online class, do it as if you are attending an actual class.
  • Get up every day at a fixed time, fresh up, have your breakfast and start studying.
  • Having a routine makes you highly productive and confident in your abilities.


  • Study in blocks with adequate breaks in between to refresh your mind and body.
  • Over-studying without taking any breaks will not fetch you desired results.
  • During the exam preparation, you might feel detached from the outer world, making you gloomy.
  • Talk to friends and family during your break time to avoid feeling disconnected.
  • Find some time to do a hobby that you enjoy.


  • Ensure that you get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
  • Lack of sleep negatively affects comprehension and concentration.
  • The brain needs good rest to work better and faster.
  • Take occasional naps. It is proven that taking naps after hectic study sessions is highly beneficial in the effective retention of information.


  • Keep up an optimistic outlook in whatever you do.
  • If you are negative and dissatisfied, it will badly affect your overall performance.
  • Never be hard on yourself if you fall behind your schedule or get a low score in a sample test. Making mistakes is completely fine.
  • Consider these as opportunities that let you identify your weaknesses and take actions to fix them.
  • Believe in yourself and invest in yourself.
  • Do not compare yourself to others because everyone has a unique learning style and pace.


  • A poor diet can cause physical discomfort and lack of nutrition.
  • Do not skip your meals even if you are on a tight schedule.
  • Eat nutritious foods that are beneficial to your body.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.


  • Allot a fixed time for physical activity of any kind.
  • You can do jogging, swimming, walking, cycling to keep your body fit and active.
  • Practice yoga or meditation for the wellbeing of the mind and improved focus.
  • Practice deep breathing and do it whenever you feel exhausted or nervous.
  • Doing exercise has long term benefits. Besides, it is essential, especially during the time of a pandemic.
  • Spending some time for self-care has a lot of advantages such as increased self-confidence,


  • Specific forms of music can soothe your mind and give instant freshness.
  • When you feel overwhelmed after the long study sessions, listen to some relaxing music for some time.
  • You can find stress-relieving or relaxing music on YouTube. Play it in the background and see if it helps you.

These are some pre-exam tips that help you fight exam anxiety. Always remember that an exam score does not decide your self-worth. If you work hard, you will be rewarded sooner or later. Stay tuned to get more tips to overcome anxiety during the time of the exam.

“At the end of the day, tell yourself gently: ‘I love you, you did the best you could today, and even if you didn’t accomplish all you had planned, I love you anyway.” – Anonymous