As a student I have experienced my fair share of exams in the past. And as exam season is upon us, or rapidly approaching for some, I thought I would share my top tips on how to stay as relaxed as possible at this stressful time! Now as I’m sure some of you may know if you read my anxiety post I suffer with anxiety. Therefore I’m not always cool as a cucumber when it comes to exam day. However, this has allowed me to come up with my own little list of what I do to help reduce my stress. Now this is what works for me, so it may not work for everyone! But I hope it can help people in some way!
Preparation is key
Now I understand that perhaps if you’re already in your exams this point might be a tad late, however, keep it in mind for next time! I always find that the earlier I start preparing the better I feel. Feeling prepared is a huge way of reducing exam stress as you know you can be outside the exam hall saying “I’ve prepared well for this, I can do it”
Switch off the night before
Nothing is more stressful than cramming and a late night. By staying up late trying to remember things, you’re only going to make things worse. Sleep is such an important part of exam preparation, and if you deprive yourself of it it could have counterproductive results!
Late night cramming also doesn’t work for me. I know it might for some, but for me it doesn’t work. I go with the mentality that if I don’t know it by the night before: I won’t know it for the exam. It’s about understanding how stress your mind is at that time and you don’t want to bombard it and overload it with information.
Drink plenty of water
Water is fuel for the mind. On the day of the exam I always try and drink as much as I can, but not so much that I run the risk of needing the toilet during the exam. I made this mistake once during GCSE’s and not wanting to waste time by leaving the exam hall, I suffered in silence until the end of the 3 hour exam. Needless to say I haven’t made that mistake since!
Read through the entire paper before you write anything.
This goes for all subjects. It gives you the opportunity to time allocate for certain questions. For example if you see a question you know will take you longer, make sure you leave enough time to answer it! Time management is key with any exam so make sure you’re aware of you time per question!
Don’t talk to other people sitting the same exam, about the exam, on the day of the exam.
This is such a major point! It will only stress you out more! Hearing everyone else talk about the subject or how much revision they have done will only panic you more. There will always be someone you think is more prepared and that will make you doubt all that you’ve done. Also discussions after the exam are a big no no too! Once I leave the exam room I’m done. No more talking about it, as you’ll only stress that Timmy answered question 6 differently to you so that means you must have failed! It’s pointless as you can’t change what you wrote once you’ve left! It’s in the past so don’t dwell on it!
Take up yoga or meditation breathing exercises
This one has really helped me! I’ve tried yogic breathing which is more breathing from your stomach than your chest if that makes sense. It’s all about connecting with your breath and focusing on it. It also will help calm your body and prevent you from tensing up and over stressing!
If I think of anymore tips as I go through my exams I’ll make sure to add them! These are just some of the ways that I try to make sure I’m as panic free as possible!