Exams as we all know can be some of the most stressful times students face. It’s natural to feel worried and anxious but sometimes these feelings can become overwhelming and cause stress. Here’s our guide on how to deal with exam stress and make this time as worry free as possible.
Firstly it’s important to know what to look for. Students who experience stress may haveloss of appetite, trouble sleeping, headaches and stomach pains. They may also appear to be irritable, forgetful, negative and depressed. However there are many simple ways to reduce their stress and put them at ease.
Talk to someone
Make sure if you’re feeling stressed or anxious that you don’t keep it bottled up inside. Talking to your parents, tutor or friends can make you feel surprisingly better and keep your worries in perspective.
Have lots of sleep
Make sure you’re getting at least eight hours sleep a night. Even though you might think it’s a good idea to have a last minute cramming session, in reality your brain will work better the next day if it’s had a good nights sleep. Revising before going to bed is also a bad idea. It will only cause stress and make it difficult to fall asleep. Try to unwind half an hour before turning off the light by reading or listening to some music.
Eat a healthy diet
Having a balanced diet is vital for feeling fit and healthy during exams. Not only will eating the right food make you feel alert and ready to go, it will also help with concentration. Remember that what you eat fuels your brain and body- so if you put in the right stuff, it will in return work hard for you.
Exercising is one of the most effective ways to bust any exam stress. As it helps release endorphins into your body, exercise will also help boost your energy levels and make you feel ready and raring to go. Try building fun activities such as swimming, football, cycling or dancing into your revision routine at least twice a week and it will make the world of difference.
Don’t forget to reward yourself during a busy revision period. Studying 24/7 will only raise stress levels and make it feel like a chore. Organise something fun after a tough exam such as a trip to the cinema or going shopping for the afternoon. It’s all about planning your time and being realistic. You can have fun but you need to work hard too.
Comparing yourself to others is not doing you any favours. Just because your best friend crammed for a maths exam in three days doesn’t mean you should do too. Remember, you are not the same as anyone else – you are unique, so work in the way that works best for you. Worrying about how much others have done will only cause unnecessary stress. So forget about everyone else and concentrate on you!
When you’re revising every day it can feel like the exams are never going to end. Try to remember that they are only temporary and won’t last forever. A great way to remind yourself of this is to make plans for when your exams are over and give yourself something to look forward to. Having an end goal is also a great way of keeping focused and motivated.
Keep it in perspective
After sitting an exam try not to dwell about what you could have changed or done differently as it will only make you feel worried and stressed. Instead, try and remain positive and remind yourself that you did your best which is all that really matters. Also keep exams in perspective. Yes they are important but failing isn’t the end of the world and in a worst case scenario exams can be re-taken.
Allow plenty of revision time
Remember to be realistic and plan your time effectively. Try not to leave revision until the last minute, as this will only cause lots of stress and panic. Planning a schedule allows you to have plenty of time to revise, remember and practice. Have a read of our ‘Top Ten Revision Tips’ to really make the most out of your revision.