Top tips to beat exam stress

Exam season can be one of the most stressful times of your life. While it can feel like there is so much work to do, and lots of information to take in, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. To help you, we’ve listed some top study tips to make sure you absorb what you need without getting too stressed out. And if you do feel anxious, our suggestions on tackling exam stress should do the trick.

Top five study tips

Preparing for exams can be difficult, especially if you keep putting it off. Following these five tips will help you enter your exam room feeling relaxed and confident.

1). Give yourself plenty of time – Try not to leave your revision until the last minute, as that will see your stress levels go through the roof. Creating a revision timetable, and sticking to it, will really help you to organise your study time effectively.

2). Organise your study space – Think about where you are going to study. If it’s in your room, make sure it’s clean, tidy and has enough light coming in. Trying to learn in a cluttered, darkened environment won’t help you study efficiently, so ensure you have a space where you feel comfortable and can focus.

3). Use previous exams to practice – If you are able to locate previous exam questions related to your subject, make the most of them. This is a great way to get used to the style and format of the questions. It’s also a good idea to time yourself, to help you get used to spending the correct amount of time on each question.

4). Discuss your answers with others – It’s important to try and get feedback about your answers from others, especially if you study alone. Whether it’s friends or family, don’t be afraid to ask them if they think your answers are on the right track.

5). Study with friends – Some people prefer to revise solo, but a group study session can be a great way to learn new things, exchange ideas and reduce some of the tension.

Managing exam stress 

While it’s good not to enter an exam room feeling overconfident, it’s equally important not to let your stress levels get out of hand. Being panic-stricken isn’t going to help you do your best. Symptoms of stress can include tiredness, lack of appetite, blurred vision and increased heart rate. But there are many ways to ensure stress does not get the better of you. Here are some examples:

  • Take regular breaks – It’s important to study hard, but don’t let it take up all of your time. If you feel you’re beginning to feel stressed, take some time out.
  • Do some exercise – Whether it’s going for a run, hitting the gym or just a quick walk down the street, exercise is a great way to destress, as well as keeping you alert.
  • Eat right, sleep well – Try to get a good eight hours of sleep. Avoid revising in bed and ensure you fuel your brain with healthy food.
  • Avoid exam post mortem – Once the exam is over, try not to over-analyse it. There is nothing worse than hearing your classmate wrote something different for a question or to hear they found the exam easy when you struggled. It’s too late to change your answers, so relax.

By following the tips above, you can conquer your exam fears and be fully prepared for success this exam season.

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