How to Overcome Exam Anxiety? Learn to Rely on God

The high school entrance examination in 2012 was the first turning point in my life. With my family’s high expectations for me, I confidently thought that I could go to a high school, but I failed. I was very depressed. Since then, I had been unable to get over this failure for a very long time. Afterward, my mother realized that I was living in pain every day, so she read some of God’s words to me, “Can one achieve everything one desires in life? How many things over the few decades of your existence have you been able to accomplish as you wished? How many things do not happen as expected? How many things come as pleasant surprises? How many things are people still waiting to bear fruit—unconsciously awaiting the right moment, awaiting the will of Heaven? How many things make people feel helpless and thwarted? Everyone is full of hopes about their fate, and anticipates that everything in their life will go as they wish, that they will not want for food or clothing, that their fortunes will rise spectacularly. Nobody wants a life that is poor and downtrodden, full of hardships, beset by calamities. But people cannot foresee or control these things” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Through God’s words I knew that God orchestrates and arranges human fate. We cannot foresee what kind of rough and bumpy path we will be on and setbacks we will experience. From the outside, it seems unfortunate that I failed my exams, but from God’s perspective, it has His good intentions. Under the leadership of God’s words, I was able to obey God gradually and walked out of pain. When I had no illusions about my future and fate and was willing to submit to God’s arrangements, I was admitted to the nursing school. My whole family was overjoyed. I felt that God is by my side and can help me at any time. I thank God from the bottom of my heart.

In the blink of an eye, five years of nursing school had ended. I was going to face the second turning point in my life—the nurse certificate examinations. This certificate was particularly important to me who studied nursing. Without it, I couldn’t do any jobs related to nursing, which meant my five years of studying had been wasted. Especially when I thought of my father who worked from dawn to dusk to provide for my tuition, I would disappoint him so much if I couldn’t get the certificate. For the sake of my own future and face and not letting my parents down, I wanted to get the certificate desperately, and therefore, I was under great pressure. As the exam was approaching, I got more and more nervous. I was even guessing the results nonstop: If I make it, I will look so great in the nurse uniform; what if I failed? How will my family and friends see me? How am I going to survive in the society without a certificate? …

The nervousness before the exam almost suffocated me, so I went to my mother to talk to her. She said, “Your nervousness is caused by your ignorance of God’s sovereignty. All of our fates are subject to God’s sovereignty. What we can do is to submit to His orchestrations and arrangements.” Then she asked me to read a passage of God’s words, “The life of man is entirely in God’s hands. Where a person can go and where he cannot go, what duty he may perform, where he lives every day, where he will live during what years, what else he will go do and for how many years, and at what points he will change life direction—all these things have been appointed by God in advance” (“A Person Can Live Life With Dignity Only by Submitting to and Revering God”). It is so true. God has already predestined my fate. If being a nurse is not decreed by fate, then no matter how hard I worked for it, I would never be able to succeed. I’m just a created being, I should submit to the Creator’s orchestrations and arrangements. Afterward, my mother fellowshiped with me a lot, and I realized that whether I would have a bright future ahead of me or not is not determined by the results of that exam, but by God’s arrangements. Therefore, I came before God and prayed, “O God, I’m about to take the nursing exam and I’m not sure if I can make it. I wish for you to guide me. If I didn’t make it, please protect me so that I would not blame You but could submit to Your sovereignty.”salvation, the church, prayer

However, I still had butterflies in my stomach, so I told God all my difficulties and whatever it was in my heart. Afterward, I read a passage of God’s words, “Regardless of how many truths people understand, … no matter how great or small their stature is or what their personal environment is like, something that they cannot be without is looking to God and relying on God in all things; this is the greatest wisdom. … Sometimes, looking to God doesn’t mean speaking clearly when people pray to Godfor something, or for God to guide them in some way, or for God to protect them; rather it is that, when they encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there? When someone’s heart stirs, and they have this idea: ‘Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative,’ when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in man, are people’s hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World”) That is true. Nothing is impossible for God and everything is controlled by His hands. Since I believe in God, I should learn to rely on and look upon God in everything, because this is the greatest wisdom. I have God as my support, so there is nothing to be afraid of. I always said I’m a believer in God, but I did not rely on God truly in my heart. That was the reason why I was so nervous when facing real difficulties. I realized that I was truly without conscience. Since then, I prayed to God submissively and my heart was gradually calm.

In a flash, it was the day of the examination. In the morning, my mother reminded me not to forget to rely on God. On the way to the examination hall, I was still very nervous, so I prayed to God repeatedly in my heart, “O God, I have no idea what will happen today, nor do I know if my exam is difficult or if the questions are from what I have reviewed. O God, I’m willing to rely on You.” Meanwhile, my father suddenly said, “It is so strange, all the traffic lights we passed were green.” I realized that all the green lights were because of God’s guidance and arrangements. God used His silent words to tell me that I was not alone and I have Him by my side.

When I entered the examination hall, my heart was very calm, because I knew that the exam results were determined by God and had already been predestined and arranged by God. All I needed to do was to submit to His arrangements, to rely on God and ask Him to calm my heart when I was feeling nervous. Before the start of the exam, I was also calling out to God. The more I prayed, the calmer I felt in my heart. When doing the exam, I also prayed to God, asking Him to protect my heart so that I wouldn’t be panic when I faced difficult questions. During the entire exam, it was God’s protection that made me very calm and be able to think carefully. I was not nervous at all. After the exam, my classmates were all saying that the exam is difficult, but I felt otherwise under God’s guidance. This is all God’s grace and blessings for me.

Afterward, in the process of waiting for the results, I often felt anxious and uneasy. Every time when I felt that way, I would pray to God in my heart and I always remembered whether the result is good or bad is arranged by God’s wisdom. When I thought of that, I would not feel so uneasy. Time flies, two months had passed and the exam results were posted online. Before checking my results, I prayed to God submissively, asking Him to lead me to obey Him, no matter what the result is.

I clicked open the transcript, before looking at the results, I gathered my courage and took a deep breath. Then, I saw my results for the two subjects are 351 and 331 points, which are 51 and 31 points higher than the cutoff point respectively. I thought, “Thank God so much! I passed! I can get the nurse certificate!” At the moment, I couldn’t express how happy I was in my heart. I offered God gratitude and praise unceasingly and I knew that it was not because of my own effort, but God’s grace and blessings.

After this personal experience, I realized what we can do to ease the tension before exams. Firstly, we should not set a very high target for ourselves, but submit to fate that God has arranged for us, with a heart that seeks God’s will.

Secondly, we must pray to God sincerely, with God’s words accompanying us, we will feel very peaceful and can face anything boldly.

When I prayed to God and looked upon God, I could feel that God was by my side leading me in everything and made my heart peaceful and steadfast. Thank God for helping me to ease my tension before exams. Finally, I passed my exams easily.

By Xiao Huan

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