If you struggle with stress during the examination period; don't fear, you are not alone! Stress centred around examinations is quite natural and there are a variety of exam stress management strategies that can greatly reduce the anxiety you experience. In this article, we will share 6 strategies through which you can manage your stress levels.
The Effect of Exam Stress on Students
Exam stress is a common occurrence in students leading up to and during exams. However, the intensity experienced by students can differ, and depending on whether or not a student has the necessary knowledge and tools to deal with this stress, it can negatively affect them.
Mild cases of exam stress can encourage and motivate students to study harder and achieve better results. On the other hand, extreme cases where stress turns into anxiety can demotivate students.
As a result, students can struggle to concentrate while studying. It can also cause students to experience forgetfulness during an exam; affecting the student’s ability to recall any of the information they worked hard at retaining. This can lead to a cycle in which students feel hopeless and unaccomplished.
Luckily, there are certain strategies that you can apply in order to combat anxiety spurred on by exams.
How to Reduce Stress During Exams
There are a variety of practices that you can utilise to reduce stress during exams. Some of these practices can be easily implemented, while others will require a little more planning. However, if done correctly, these practices can make a world of difference to a student's life during examination preparation and execution.
1. Make Use of Proper Planning Practices
As a student nears the exam period, it is important to start planning. Start by determining which subjects are most challenging and put together a sheet that indicates the amount of time you will require to study for each subject. Once this has been formulated, you can make use of a calendar and block out multiple study sessions for each exam.
Once you have set up this plan, you will be confident in your ability to work through the course content before examination day. It can also be useful to indicate what phase of studying each study session will consist of. For example, be sure to include revision, summary, and sessions to write past-papers.
2 .Use Routine to Reduce Exam Tension
Creating and sticking to a routine is another fantastic way to manage stress. Therefore, once you have completed your planning, you will be able to build a routine around your study sessions.
Try to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. It will also be useful to go to bed at the same time every evening. Be sure to work some relaxation time into your routine and stick to the amount of time that you allotted to relaxation. Try to resist turning a 30-minute break into an hour or more.
Once you have become used to a routine, you will be able to relax knowing that there won't be as many unexpected events.
3. Ask for, and Accept, Support
You do not have to deal with the stress and anxiety you are experiencing on your own. While it might be hard to admit to others, it can be very helpful to express your emotions and feelings of anxiety.
Do not hesitate to talk to your parents about your stress levels. Once they are aware they will be able to help you navigate your stress and potentially enrol you in extra tutoring sessions. This will allow you to discuss the sections you are struggling with, with a tutor and allow them to improve your understanding of those concepts.
4. Manage Exam Pressure and Expectations
Examinations can elicit a variety of expectations. Some of these expectations are placed upon you by other individuals and some of them you place on yourself. While you should always do your best, placing stringent expectations on yourself can increase the pressure you feel to succeed.
Try to avoid establishing expectations based on your past performance in previous exams. Discuss with others what their expectations are of you, the clarity gained from this can also reduce the stress you are experiencing. Ultimately, you should study hard and do your best, this will always yield a good result.
5. Look After Your Mental and Physical Health
If you are someone who struggles with exam stress, it is very important to ensure that you take care of yourself mentally and physically. Some habits to include consist of:
- Ensuring that you get 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Drink enough water and stay hydrated.
- Eat healthy foods that boost brain function.
- Take frequent breaks where you walk around and do something physical.
- Keep some time open for complete relaxation. Try spending an hour or two a day on a hobby that you enjoy.
Making these small changes will help you stay focussed and allow you to absorb information more easily while studying.
6. Practice Relaxation Techniques
If you feel your stress levels increasing, try to make use of some relaxation techniques. Stop and take a few slow, deep breaths. This should immediately relax you and allow you to gather your thoughts.
It could be useful to start your day off by meditating, as this will put you in a mindset of relaxation and calmness. These techniques don’t take much time at all and are a great way to improve the way in which you deal with stress.
We know that managing stress can seem difficult at times but it is good to learn these management techniques early on in life as it will benefit you throughout your life and education journey.