Whether you’re in high school, university, or any other type of formal education, you’re probably well aware of the fact that exams aren’t any fun. Even though some students will find it easier to study, exam stress affects us all in different ways and it can seriously take a toll on your mental health.
Despite the fact that these tips can’t make exams any easier or more enjoyable, they’re designed to help you manage exam stress and handle the exam season better. While different things work for different people, these strategies can really help you in overcoming exam fears and exam anxiety.
Organisation Is Key
This can mean something different for everybody, but it’s an important point for all. When it comes to sitting your exams, getting organised and getting things in order is one of the key elements of doing well. This could mean making use of printables, planners, binders, or handy apps on your phone.
A lot of students find it good to have a baseline schedule that they try to stick to – even if it means only doing a bit of studying each day. It’s also a good idea to find what works for you before you start your exams – as, that way, you know what works and what doesn’t. If you know you can’t stick to a schedule by sheer will, find other methods of motivating yourself and keeping on track.
Give Yourself A Break (Or Many Breaks)
Research has shown that we can only concentrate for about 40 minutes before getting distracted – though this is going to be a lot shorter for certain people. Therefore, it’s important that you give yourself regular breaks to ensure that you’re actually absorbing the information that you’re studying. Burning the candle at both ends, as they say, won’t be worth it as you won’t be able to remember any of the important details.
When you’re having a break, make sure you don’t just stay sat in your study area. Get up and go outdoors, or go and fix yourself a healthy snack to ensure that you’re fuelling your body with the nutrition that it needs. Sometimes simply changing the environment that you work in is enough to make you feel a whole lot better.
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
This includes shaming yourself over not sticking to your schedule or not allowing yourself to have some downtime. You’re working hard, so you deserve to enjoy yourself. Don’t throw the idea of studying completely out the window, but make sure that you segment your time so that you can partake in other activities too.
Likewise, don’t set unrealistic goals and feel bad for not achieving them. So what if you didn’t finish that chapter or you weren’t able to get to all the past papers that you planned to do? You’re still doing your best, and you should give yourself a bit of credit for that.
Form A Study Support System
Studying is hard, but studying alone and trying to shoulder the burden of it is even tougher. Many students also find that they suffer from exam stress because they’re comparing themselves to other people or they’re holding themselves up to high expectations, which can only make you feel worse.
Instead of trying to deal with it all yourself, reach out and form a support system. This could be through talking to your parents and letting them know how you feel, or it could be through throwing study sessions with your friends. In any case, it’s going to help you unload and it’s probably going to help the other people involved too.
Even though they can feel overwhelming and overly important, it’s vital to keep perspective on what really matters. They can feel like they’re the most important thing in the world but, when it comes down to it, exams really aren’t everything. The outcome of an exam doesn’t define who you are as a person and it certainly doesn’t determine exactly how successful you’re going to be.
That’s not to say that you should just treat your exams as if they’re a game – not at all. You should still aim to do your best, but keep in mind that you can’t change your results after the exam finishes. Once you’re done sitting the exam, try to think ahead and think positively instead of replaying the event in your mind.
The most important aspect of dealing with exam stress is making sure that you have the support that you need to get through the tough time. Don’t sit in silence and allow the stress to take even more of a toll on your mental health. If you need to talk to somebody but don’t know where to turn, try 7 Cups Of Tea or BlahTherapy.
Do you have any tips for dealing with exam stress? Do any of these work well for you? Comment and let me know!