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A Guide to Surviving Exam Stress

Exam time is well and truly upon us. And along with it comes the inevitable nail biting, stress and worry. Feeling anxious about your exams is completely normal, but rest assured there are some simple things you can do to make sure you perform to your best on the day.

1. Eat well

Everyone knows the benefits of eating a healthy diet, but during your exam period it is more crucial than ever. A diet packed with plenty of fresh fruit and veg will make you feel physically equipped to take on even the toughest of mental challenges! Sip water instead of caffeine or sugary drinks which, as tempting as they are, will do more harm than good. And most importantly, on the day of your exams eat a good breakfast – something like porridge is ideal so you have the energy you need to keep going.

2. Study in your own style

Do whatever works for you. Singing a song, make up acronyms, stick post it notes all over your house, draw pictures, diagrams or tune into to your favourite music as you hit the books. Everyone learns in their own way so make it work for you. Having revision goals is good to keep you on track. You could even plan rewards as you hit your targets. If you go off track one day don’t panic – just take one day at a time.

3. Sleep

Never underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. So put down those books and turn in early. Make sure you relax properly before you do so or your brain will be buzzing. Turn off the TV, switch off your phones and wind down listening to some favourite music or take a bath, so you are ready for sleep and will wake feeling refreshed.

4. Give yourself a break

Plan a sensible and achievable revision schedule which allows you to take plenty of breaks. And use your time wisely – exercise or get outside in the fresh air during your study breaks to take your mind off your worries and it will also help you sleep better. Talking to friends can also help you to relax but remember to switch off your phone when you do get back to the books so you can focus without distractions.

5. And finally… breathe!

Sounds simple doesn’t it? When you feel the panic rising and you can’t think straight take a deep breath and count to five as you exhale. It’ll slow down your heart rate so you can calm down and get back on track.

There you have it. Hopefully these tips will help you to keep calm and manage your stress in the run up to your exams. Stay focussed on your goals and before you know it you’re exams will be a distant memory, you’ll have your certificate and you’ll be on your way to college! Good luck!

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