The end of the semester is approaching and you’re starting to feel the pressure. Stress is an unavoidable part of life, and there’s no shame in admitting that it’s got you feeling overwhelmed.
You’ve been studying hard, but with exams coming up, you can’t help but worry about not doing well.
Some students forget that they need to take care of themselves too. It can be difficult to study or sleep with the exam looming over your head.
Exams are a major source of stress for most students and it’s important to know how to deal with this stress effectively. From using healthy habits and coping strategies to seeking help from your university or social support networks, we’ll show you some ways that will make exam time a little less stressful for you.
Relax and get ready
The first step towards getting into the exam zone is to relax. One of the best ways to achieve this is to find your centre of peace. The best place to get into the zone is your room or room for quiet and meditation.
If this is not an option, find an outdoor place with no distractions, preferably in nature. Either way, make sure you have a place to sit and relax in silence and get ready to work. The biggest obstacle to relaxing is the thoughts that you have.
The most common question people have is why they should take the exam, when they can just look it up on the internet. Most of the time this is just anxiety and stress in the mind and the student should know they can look it up later. When you are tense, your body naturally wants to move and it also gets distracted easily.
As students prepare for exams, it is important to recognize that, during this time of year, the brain produces many more beta-endorphins than it does at other times.
Beta-endorphins are neurotransmitters in the body which are considered to be ‘happy chemicals’. In this process, the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol is rapidly reduced, while the ‘happy chemical’ endorphins are elevated.
This allows the brain to feel better and therefore also lowers stress levels. The best ways to relieve stress are to use your environment to ease it, create an exercise routine to reduce cortisol levels and to read something that helps to develop your learning strategies.
Take a deep breath
By having a full exhale before you start a sentence, you will open your mind to calm yourself. By bringing the breath into your body, you can calm your mind. The same is when you begin to write the answer.
Try to consciously bring the breath into your body, think to yourself that you are in peace and you breathe deeply to calm yourself.
Take a walk
The best way to take your mind off the exam is to leave the room you are studying in. When you are stressed out you will have a hard time focusing on the task at hand and you will start fidgeting and moving around.
So, if you can get out of the exam room for 10 minutes to let your body relax, you will be in a better state of mind to answer the exam.
Wipe your mind of other things like food, love life, work, etc., try not to think about the current issue you are facing. Whenever your mind is not doing its job, distract it with something new, so you can reach your answer quicker. If you think your answer is wrong, distract your mind and continue solving the question.
You will always come up with a better answer if you are mentally in the situation. If you are talking about a routine exam, create a vision of how you are about to look or how your body will look while you are answering the question. Visualization always helps. Visualize your answer and then think about it.
Your brain can usually be trained to do things in the right way through practice. It is always better to start on something new than repeating something you have already learned. Make a decision to forget the first thing you try.
Sleep on it. No matter how much studying you do, you will never be able to learn everything in a short amount of time. So if you are in an exam period, your chances are much better of getting a good mark if you make a few tweaks to your sleep.
Choose a time when you are the most alert and most interested in your homework. Let your body and mind adjust to the new sleep cycle (and hopefully your exam mood).
The most important thing about exams is to just take your time. Think about the question, instead of thinking about how your body feels or what your friends are doing. You must focus on the present moment.
Remember to do nothing and nothing in particular. When you concentrate on the work, your mind becomes fresh and calm, as you allow your thoughts to flow naturally.
Get rid of negative thoughts before they take over your mind.
Drinking alcohol and taking drugs, listening to music or any other distraction can distract you from the important things. You must be focused on your exams and do your work. Eat small meals to keep you full.
You have to keep yourself warm and keep yourself energized. If you feel hungry before the exam, take a small meal so that you have enough energy to do your work. Also, when you are full, your brain is relaxed and you will work well.
You should avoid the stress of being in the exam hall. You must have enough knowledge and enough confidence in your exams to get over the stress of being in an exam hall. Try to get a nice place to study and put away any distractions.
Keeping a diary is also an effective way to deal with stress. By putting everything you’re thinking and feeling down on paper, you can see your situation from a different perspective.
Draw a mental map. Think back to the start of your exam period. Now, take a step back and visualize what you need to do to get there. What goals did you have set for yourself? Do they still stand? It’s much easier to stay motivated when you are walking with purpose. Try writing down your mental plan in a notebook so that you can refer to it whenever you need to.
Exams are no longer limited to just college students. With our culture’s emphasis on achievement, it’s easy for the rising generation to put pressure on themselves to get their work done. While many parents and educators still place an emphasis on grades and working hard in class, a new generation is challenging our beliefs on whether exams are all there is.
When dealing with the stress of exam season, we have to remember that exams are just one part of our education. Make a list of the things you’re looking forward to in the future. If exam stress is getting to you, remember there’s so much more to life than just making it through a test! If you struggle with exam stress, you may want to consult with a mental health professional.
Don’t procrastinate! If you haven’t finished your study materials yet, don’t put it off until the last minute. This will only make you more anxious. If you have no choice but to study now, make sure you do a good job.
Give yourself a task, such as preparing for a mock exam, early in the week, so you can make the most of the weekend. Plan out your study time. You will be less distracted and more able to get things done when you know where you have to be, when you have to be there, and how long it will take to get there.
Be prepared to answer your questions. Whether it’s a question your teacher or another classmate has asked you, be ready to provide an answer. It will allow you to improve your exam scores. Give yourself a reward.
Exam study is not the only stress reduction strategy. So many of us have plenty of options, ranging from spa treatments and massages to yoga classes, to name a few. To begin your stress reduction journey, take a trip out to your local salon for a little pampering!
Just a simple haircut can be calming and fun. You will soon discover that there are so many techniques for reducing stress from your haircut, including the following:
- Laugh: a great stress-reducing activity
- Joke around: the benefits of a good sense of humor are immeasurable
- Say something nice to yourself: think of something nice to say to yourself
- Don’t overthink: simplify, simplify, simplify!
- Practice relaxing activities: there are many options
Related Blog: How To Avoid Laziness While Studying
Don’t let others distract you
This one is the hardest. To get good grades in school, you should focus on your own studies. But if you don’t pay attention to your professors, your classmates, or your parents, you will fail.
So, always know what your professor expects. Study for the questions that your professor has set, not those that the other classmates are studying for.
This way, you will only focus on what your professor expects. Don’t follow what others are doing. This is a sign that you are trying to join a group. Do your own thing and you will be successful in your exams. The days leading up to exams are the worst.
Let go of the stress
One of the best ways to reduce exam stress is to move forward with things that we don’t want to happen. This is often easier said than done when it comes to exams and especially those exams which are scheduled in advance, but there are ways to make the biggest difference.
For one, you need to think about something you’re looking forward to, and take steps to make it happen. Even if you’ve got one more exam to write, try and find something that you’ve been looking forward to for a long time.
For example, the end of your first semester could mean going out for a few drinks with your friends.
Practice, practice, practice
Most school kids know that if they don’t prepare well, they will have a really tough time in the exam hall. Teachers will often advise them to practise, and they recommend games like
Shredder, to help them understand where their strengths and weaknesses are. If you’ve got older kids, why not try encouraging them to perform specific tests from memory?
Here’s an example: I would like you to remember the list of buildings at school and answer a series of questions about the buildings: how old they are, what year they were built, what they look like, and so on. That’s it! Now we can discuss the answers and see if you have been able to recognise their characteristics. Wasn’t that easy?
Take care of your body
One of the most effective ways of dealing with stress is to ensure you are feeling as well as you can. When you have more energy, it’s easier to deal with the responsibilities and pressures of the exams and work.
If you have a decent diet and get regular exercise, it’s much easier to face the daunting pressures of exams in good form. By eating healthily and regularly exercising, you’ll have more energy when exams are approaching, which will enable you to deal with the stress much better.
How do I actually study?
Don’t do it all in one sitting. Doing too much at once will only stress you out and cause you to forget important information. Take a quick break from studying to eat or go to the bathroom.
Also, don’t forget to take time to relax, take a nap, or do something that you enjoy. Start studying well in advance of the test date. You don’t have to memorize everything you’ll need right before the test, but it’s always a good idea to know what topics you’ll be tested on.
Do some exercise to help you relax and get your brain working in a different way. Take advantage of the many online resources available to you.
What should I do during an exam?
This is the first point that I like to make. Having unrealistic goals for the way an exam should be will just add to your stress.
While it’s important to focus on your task at hand, you shouldn’t rush things and put too much pressure on yourself. You’ll be more likely to fail in your tasks if you do that.
Instead, try to keep it realistic and pace yourself. If you know that you’re not going to finish your studying in a few hours, don’t rush things and give yourself a chance to rest.
Waking up a few hours early to study for an exam isn’t going to help you perform better on the exam. However, doing that a few hours before the exam might allow you to finish your studying by the time the exam starts.
Healthy habits for exam time
Most students who are stressed out, anxious, and confused by their work often avoid healthy habits, like exercise. But a few simple, daily lifestyle changes can reduce your stress levels by creating a healthier lifestyle.
Exercise, Take a walk, Take a yoga class, Go to the gym, Running, biking, swimming, aerobics, yoga, dancing, or any other form of exercise has been shown to help students lower stress, boost their cognitive ability, and boost their mental health.
“It’s important that students be encouraged to focus on exercise during stressful times. If they do not physically exercise, they risk mental stress-related illnesses like depression, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease,” notes Karen Seckl-Saggio, an exercise physiologist.
University and social support networks
Your best way to get through finals is to have a support system. Reach out to your peers and roommates if you feel any tension between you and your other classmates.
Make time for all of your friends to hang out and eat. And don’t forget about your family members, either! They may be eager to help you study.
Make time to spend with your loved ones. You’ll be able to spend some time relaxing, enjoying each other’s company, and taking part in fun activities together.
One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is meditation.
Meditation allows you to slow down, breathe deeply, and give yourself permission to let go of whatever is stressing you out.
As you breathe in and out, simply repeat a mantra, such as: “I am calm. I am calm.” Repeat this mantra for 10-15 minutes. Focus on your breath, and allow yourself to feel calm for a few minutes.
Before going to bed, repeat the mantra silently in your mind a few more times. You can also use it to help you sleep.
Related Blog: Common Mistakes That Students Make While Studying
Don’t fear to write your exams, and work hard on them. The most important thing is not to panic. Good luck!