How to manage the stress of upcoming exams?

As a student you are inevitably faced with writing exams, this is the culmination of all your hard work and hours of studying. An opportunity for you to show that you have mastered your subject and ready to move on to the next level.

How to manage the stress of upcoming exams?

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Some people thrive under the pressure of exams, but for some people, this can be extremely stressful. Let's look at a few ways that you can reduce your stress and help you cope during this time.


Firstly what are the signs that you might be experiencing exam stress?

Are you feeling overwhelmed, suffering from insomnia, having mood swings or lacking motivation? These are just a few signs that you may be suffering from exam stress.


Why is it that some people get stressed out by exams?

Fear of failure is the most common reason for being stressed during exam time. Students are under increasing pressure to do well in their exams, this can be driven by family pressure, financial pressure or their competitive nature.


So how do we manage stress leading up to the exams?

Make sure you have established good studying habits early on in your academic career. This can include setting up an organised quiet study environment, understanding how you learn best and having a plan or study schedule which suites that learning method.

Establish a good daily routine based around healthy eating and sleeping habits and allowing yourself enough downtime in order to prevent burn out. Going out and having a good time is a great way to unwind, as long as you do it in moderation.


Managing your stress on exam day

Make sure you are well prepared and have packed everything that you will need on the day.

Make sure that you have a good breakfast which will help you to focus and have enough energy.

Read through your exam paper carefully, highlighting keywords and instructions.

Calculate the time allowed for each section.

Start by tackling the easiest questions first, and then go back to the more challenging ones, this gives your brain a chance to get into the swing of things.

Make sure you have given yourself enough time to go over all of your answers one final time, before handing your paper in. Often you can pick up silly mistakes that could have been quite costly.


Getting help

If you find that you are feeling completely overwhelmed, do not be afraid to reach out for help. Talking to someone can be so helpful to settle your nerves, a fellow student, a mentor or teacher, or school councillor can help you manage your stress levels and come up with a plan that will work for you, and enable you to reach your full potential in your exams.

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