Managing exam stress

Here are the best ways to navigate the stress of exams…

Setting realistic goals and ensuring that you are creating achievable expectations for yourself is incredibly important. Creating goals for yourself that are unrealistic can result in overload, further stress and feeling disappointed or unmotivated by not meeting your goals.

Avoid bad habits such as drinking alcohol, caffeine, substance abuse. These can all impede your concentration and ability to focus on your study as well as the creation of healthy habits such as good sleep cycles. A healthy diet, good sleep and mindfulness can all contribute to a healthy body and healthy mind, and will mean you can manage stressful situations more easily.

Talk about your stress with a friend, family member, a tutor or a professional if you feel you need to. Exam stress is a difficult thing to cope with and for some people can be incredibly triggering. Accessing the emotional support that you need with someone you trust is so important to keeping your mental health in good condition for sitting the exams!

Follow a study schedule, this will help you with the efficiency of your studying and break down the subject content into chunks to support your overall learning. This can be done by setting aside a set time and topic to study or a daily time or topic number goal with a list of objectives to complete over a set period of time.

Taking regular breaks from studying is beneficial to both your mental health and wellbeing, as well as the effectiveness of your study. This is because it allows your brain to have time to process the information you have gone over in your study session.

Finding your study style can be a difficult task, especially if you haven’t had to sit exams in a long time. Accepting that not everyone learns in the same way is so important. Discover how you learn by trialling a variety of different techniques. Remember that different techniques may be effective for different types of information and a good variety of study methods will help to keep your studying interesting and keep you engaged in your learning.

Practice mindfulness and keep a positive attitude. Finding times to reflect, think and ground yourself is crucial to maintaining your mental health during the stressful exam period. Whether this is through going to the gym, going on a walk, yoga or even meditating, it is important to have time to allow yourself to feel your emotions and reflect upon your achievements.

Get support from tutors and peers if you need it. Your tutor can provide additional information or go back over a topic or answer any questions you have to support you in understanding the topic. Your peers may also be willing to set up a study group for mutual support with studying. Study groups are very efficient for some people and can be a great way to connect with your peers at the same time as getting some work done.

Written by Ebony, who is a 2nd Year SENDI and Ed Studies student at Bishop Grosseteste University.

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