Newcastle University London

5 ways to deal with exam stress

5 ways to deal with exam stress

Here are five stress management tips which help me to stay calm whenever I feel overwhelmed during exam season

1: Schedule your day

The amount of information you have to remember for exams can be overwhelming. Before the exam it is important to write down a realistic study plan. My tip is to outline and prioritize tasks you need to do, schedule your studying time, breaks, sleep as well as rewards. A plan will provide you with more clarity and will give you a sense of control over the task ahead. 

2: Sleep, eat and exercise

Stress can put a lot of pressure on your body and mind. Too much caffeine and an extra hour without sleep may seem like an opportunity to study just a little bit more. However, your body needs fuel for the best performance possible. Lack of sleep, poor diet and minimal exercise will rather cause anxiety than contribute to your overall exam success. With a fresh mind you will be able to retain information better. Taking care of your mind, body and soul will relax you and make you stress less.

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3: Breathe

Another tip to reduce exam stress is to do breathing exercises. Whenever your mind gets frantic and the heart starts pacing, take a few minutes of deep breathing. When you deep breathe, the body releases endorphins- hormones which ease pain and make you feel happy and calm. There are various breathing techniques which suit different people so have a look on the app store! 

4: Eliminate distractions

It is easy to lose focus when there are so many distractions around. Things like televisions, cell phones, computer screens and the internet interrupt our attention - causing more frustration to accomplish our tasks. 5 minutes online can become 15, 20, 55 minutes. My tip is to identify your triggers, track how often you lose your focus and adjust methods to stay in a workflow. For instance, study in the environment where other people cannot distract you, turn off phone notifications or delete social media applications for some time and instead listen to some calming focus music.

5: Connect with other people

Talking to friends and family members is one of the best stress relievers. Sometimes all you need in order to stay calm is to talk to someone you love. Don’t hesitate to call your friend and talk about your emotions and feelings. Support from your friends and family can strengthen your self-esteem and eliminate negative emotions.

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