What is the way to deal with it?
Stress is a challenge which can be converted into something helpful rather than disabling. This post helps IELTS Test candidates to do just that.
How can anxiety help your IELTS Preparation?
Broadly there are two kinds of stress positive (eustress) and negative (distress). The aim is to manage the stress you take on so is becomes positive.
Anxiety, typically a negative stress, is a sharp reminder that you need to plan your IELTS Test preparation properly. If you are feeling extremely anxious, it probably means you are concerned about everything you need to do to pass the IELTS Test and are constantly thinking about your fate at the end of the entire journey. If you don’t plan your IELTS Test preparation – and stick to the plan – you will be nudged by anxiety every time your focus gets loose and determination wavers.
The implication is simple. Plan to do little but often and, step by step, you will start to become more competent and confident. Do not plan to become anxious by not preparing methodically! Enjoy the experience and treat it as you would running a race or some other competitive event. That way the stress will remain positive. Work with it, and you will be just fine all the way through.
Worst Case Scenario
What if your anxiety really becomes uncontrollable to the extent that it causes sleeping trouble and takes away some peace of mind?
What if it becomes a negative stress?
Well, this may happen when the exam is only a few days away. You may have the feeling that you should be burning the candle at both ends and doing nothing but work, work, work. In this case you must trust in your IELTS Test preparation plan and how your brain processes what you have learned.
If you have planned thoroughly and practised well you should have little to fear.
If you do find yourself stressed and anxious here are some simple but effective ways to ease the symptoms – based on first-hand and vicarious experience:
- Take some time for silent reflection and thinking in the present moment. This talk by Andy Puddicombe will show you how it is possible to refresh your mind in just 10 minutes per day.
- When you are stuck, do not push it. Instead, find easier tasks to do which you are able to complete. This will make you start to feel more positive about your IELTS Test preparation. When things are sailing smoothly again, you should aim to get back to more challenging aspects of your IELTS Test preparation.
- Take a stroll and think about anything else apart from your IELTS Test preparation. This will temporarily divert your attention away from the immediate stressor – a proven breather!
- Stay close with nature and draw energy from your surroundings. Nothing is more therapeutic than what Mother Earth can offer. Listen to the birds around you; watch how your pets interact with each other; visit a beach and enjoy the lapping of the waves upon the sea shore. Find beauty and therapy in everyday occurrences. Recharge your batteries.
- Take a while to enjoy something you particularly like; have some sip of your favourite drink; shoot a few baskets in the back yard or at a gym. Again this takes your mind off what is causing anxiety in your IELTS Test preparation.
Try to add your own de-stressing methods to the list. What is important is to do something, any of them, because diverting your mind away from what is causing you stress will really help you ease some tension and reduce your anxiety.
Search the internet for specialist advice – from people like Andy Puddicombe – Not all of these approaches work with everybody, so don’t pursue one which does not make you feel better.
In other words, get to know yourself and what works for you.
Plan ahead to face the greatest anxiety – the night before the IELTS Test!
The night before your exam day is when you are most tested in terms of keeping your calm and composure. Here are a few ideas for what you can do to steady your nerves:
- Don’t cram for the IELTS Test – your IELTS Test Preparation cannot be successfully completed the night before the IELTS Test, so don’t attempt it.
- Relax, devote the entire night to rest and try to feel good about everything you have completed in your IELTS Test preparation.
- Be positive and excited! Look forward to taking the exam. Imagine yourself doing well. It is a proven conditioning method.
- Sleep well and eat well before heading to the exam venue.
IELTS Test Preparation – Coaching
If you would like coaching from one of our IELTS professionals as part of your IELTS Test preparation – to help you to understand what will improve your IELTS band score – we offer an IELTS Writing assessment and coaching service which helps candidates prepare for the IELTS Test.
We also offer online lessons which teach techniques to practise to improve your score.