5 Tips to Cope with Stress During the Exams
May 5, 2016
Coping with Exam Stress: 5 top tips
1. Remember that stress is normal
Experiencing stress is completely normal at exam time. While a certain level of stress is healthy, if you allow this to take over it can become unhealthy and hinder your exam performance and general well-being.
Monitor your thoughts in the lead-up to the exams. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a break and think about something else for a time with an activity other than exam prep.
If you feel exceptionally stressed or overwhelmed, speak to a teacher or parent. They will help.
2. Turn your stress around
Why not turn your stress around and use those hormones to your advantage? Put your extra energy into your preparation before the exams and concentration during them.
In your mind, turn your stress into a positive thing. In sport, adrenaline can be used to maximise performance; work with it to maximise your marks.
3. Preparation is paramount
It may seem obvious, but when approaching exams, preparation is paramount. The better prepared you are, the calmer you will be.
Plan your work, set it out clearly, and allocate time to each subject/topic area. Speak to your teachers and tutors if you are uncertain about any aspects of your study and seek clarification.
Use study guides or join study groups. If there isn’t study group near you, why not create one with your classmates? A study group will enable you to share any fears or worries you have and you can work as a team with your group members to overcome them.
Revise and practise using past exam papers and know what to expect. Prioritize your work and complete it in manageable batches so it doesn’t seem overwhelming.
4. Get physical and eat healthy
It’s easy to develop a sedentary lifestyle around exam time and reach for comfort food, but this is the worst thing you can do because it will impede your performance. Even if you find yourself falling into this trap, it’s never too late to change.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to combat stress; even a brisk 15-minute walk will help you maintain positivity and clear your head. Time spent exercising is not time wasted; you can use it to revise theories and studied answers in your head and consolidate them in your mind while you walk or run.
5. Find ways to relax
Relaxation will help your mind-set reach a calmer state. Choose a technique that works for you, whether it’s meeting a friend for coffee or seeking a good support system from your mentors, family or friends.
Running, yoga, Pilates or visualization are just some examples of the many effective techniques available. Positive thinking and mindfulness will help you to focus on the present and look at the connection between your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Sleep is the most important one to get right. Aim for at least 8 hours a night: fewer is known to compound our stress levels.