Exam Stress Tips
Stress is a part of life but for students it’s often heightened around exam time. Here are some tips to help you beat exam stress:
- Be aware if you are prone to stress. Exams can bring out the worst in natural born worriers, high achievers or perfectionists. If this sounds like you, try to get on top of those negative thoughts before they get a chance to take hold. You can do this!
- Be prepared. An oldie but a goodie. Being prepared; having your notes sorted, the books you need and plenty of stationery to hand takes away some of the stress of studying. It also minimises procrastination brought on by having to look for things you need.
- Set realistic goals. A goal will help you stay focused, especially if it is attainable. Something as simple as “read three chapters by the end of the week”, “study one topic by Tuesday” etc. Unrealistic goals lead to loss of concentration and negative feelings about your ability to get through this.
- Have faith in yourself. You’ve gotten this far, you just need to give it one more push. Remind yourself of the assignments and homework you’ve completed, the subjects that you’re good at and the past papers you can practice with. There’s also loads of help out there from teachers, lecturers and student supports if you need them, just ask!
- Study smarter, not harder. Get your hands on past papers and familiarise yourself with the layout of the exam paper as much as possible. Start with the easy subjects to boost your confidence but spend less time on those than the more difficult ones. Don’t pull all-nighters as they impact your ability to focus and concentrate the next day.
- Be exam ready. Start with your best question first and remember that you get the most marks for the middle of your questions. Keep time in the exam, don’t run over and lose out on the chance to spend time on the next question. Remember to read the questions completely and focus on questioning words; why, how where, when and compare. This will help you shape the best answer and keep you on topic.
- Take time to relax. After 45 minutes to an hour of study you should take a 10 minutes break and recharge the batteries. Get some food or stretch your legs. Try to get plenty of sleep and eat good brain food such as fish, blueberries and nuts.
- Reward yourself for studying. Spending all that time glued to your notes can be challenging so allow yourself an evening off and spend time with friends or on a hobby. Time away from the books can help you rejuvenate and boost your concentration.
- Give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve finished. You deserve it. You got through it.