How to cope with exam pressure
Knowing that the exam season is getting close can be stressful for students regardless of their age or ability. Even the most able student can feel exam pressure.
Anxiety could start to set in, but in order to avoid failing or becoming ill, there are ways to deal with exam pressure that will help you relax:
- Use your time wisely
Keep summarized notes to help you remember points and don’t try to remember new ideas on the evening before the exam.
Allocate time for sorting out your equipment and your bag. Make a note of the start time and venue.
Pick a specific time to revise each day and look for a quiet place to study each subject and give each one the same amount of study time. Remember to schedule time for eating, exercising and relaxation time.
- Eat and sleep well
Get plenty of sleep the night before the exam by going to bed early. This will help you to concentrate and keep you alert.
Focus on eating a balanced diet and avoid skipping meals.
Avoid friends who are panicky because they can make you feel confused. Remember it’s your exam so you need to remain relaxed.
Take time to relax in order to avoid burn out. If you start to feel anxious, breath in slowly up to the count of three, then breathe out slowly to the count of three. Give yourself the opportunity to take regular breaks.
- Positive approach
Focus on positive thoughts. If you start to feel negative about exams, then listen to relaxation music to calm your mind.
- Arrive early
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes to help you feel relaxed.
Getting to the exam venue on time can help you stay relaxed and help you deal with any changes to the exam venue or other changes on the day.
Ignore what other people are doing or saying in order to stay focused and positive.
- On the exam day
Read the instructions carefully and listen to any further instructions.
- To avoid getting stuck, read each question carefully and select the questions you are going to do. Jot down notes next to the questions to help you write full sentences later on.
- Attempt easier questions first because you can always go back to answer the difficult ones later.
- Keep to time and aim to answer each question.
- If you finish the exam early, don’t leave the room. Use this time to read over your paper and correct any mistakes or add more facts.
- At the end of the exam, leave the room quietly and avoid discussing the paper with friends because you can become demoralized.
Once the exam is over, focus on your next one because you can’t change what you’ve written. It’s a good idea to get some relaxation time before the start of your next paper, so stay calm and good luck!