Online ISSN: 2515-8260

Keywords : Cortisol

Effect of Examination Stress and its Consequences in Dental Students

Bama Rajanayagam; Manikandan S; Selvaraj S; Bhuvaneswaran D

European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 2020, Volume 7, Issue 9, Pages 748-754

Objective: Medical education being very arduous and laborious, students faces enormous stress during the course of education. It gets even worse as the exams progresses, which causes various mental and physiological changes affecting student’s health and their academic performances. The aim of the study was to find out the stress level in students by evaluating the salivary cortisol levels before written and oral exam respectively and comparing it with the salivary cortisol level after the exams are completed.
Study design:
Methods: In this study, 100 healthy individuals of first year dental students aged between 17 to 19 years were included. Salivary samples from the students were collected before the written exam and oral exam respectively and were considered to be samples during the stressful period. Likewise samples were collected from the same students a week after the completion of university exams and were considered as samples during their relaxed period. Both the samples, during stressful period and relaxed period were taken for cortisol analysis.
The cortisol level was found to be significantly increased in stressful period which is before both oral and written exams (P≤0.05*) compared to relaxed period which is after 
the completion of all the exams. A marked increase in cortisol secretion was found before oral exams (216.41±17.31) in comparison to the cortisol secretion before written exams (119±5.48) which could signify the severity of stress posed by the students before oral exams.
Conclusion: Examination is important and should be faced with a challenging spirit. If not it would affect the students both physically and psychologically causing anxiety and stress and
thereby affecting their performance.