Is exam stress freaking you out? Stop worrying and take some advice from someone who’s been through it – this is how Alice coped with her own exam stress.
All too soon after the New Year celebrations I found myself facing mock exam after mock exam. And soon after that, it was real exam after real exam. The complete silence of the room, the teachers watching the rows like policemen on patrol – it doesn’t exactly scream relaxation does it? But then I realised – the whole routine of lining up in silence, feeling the nervous energy coming off everyone around me – that was never going to change. I had to change. Here are some things that helped me cope with my own exam stress.
Work out how you revise best to reduce exam stress
Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Don’t make pages and pages of notes if that’s not the way you learn. Think about what works for you. Does explaining things to others help? Does it help you to write reminders on post-it notes around your house? What will help you remember what you need to learn and reduce your exam stress?
When I was revising, I had to remind myself that my friends wouldn’t be there with me during my exams. I had to focus on what I found most difficult, however painful that was at first. During the exam I’d only have myself to rely on.
Comparing yourself with other people only increases exam stress
Do you have people in your class who complain about how they’ve been doing 12-hour revision days or how they haven’t slept because they’ve been cramming all night? I definitely did and I let those people get to me, which only increased my exam stress.
I wasted so much time comparing myself to others and feeling bad about what I had or hadn’t done, that I forgot how to revise and spent extra hours revising when I was far too tired to do anything productive.
To cope with my exam stress, I found that the best thing was to try not to worry about what anyone else was doing. I had to be selfish. I had to make sure that I felt prepared for my exams, without comparing myself with anyone else.
Exercise, eat well and take time to relax to beat exam stress
One last tip which I found really helpful during exams was to take regular breaks and take time out to do the things I loved. It didn’t matter what I did – playing sport, chatting to family or friends or even just cooking a healthy meal – they all really helped.
Exercise helped me feel good and healthy food definitely helped my mood. All these things gave my brain time to process what I had been learning and more importantly, made sure that my life remained balanced.
Whatever works for you, I hope you find your own way to beat exam stress and feel good during exam season!
YoungMinds wishes those of you who are facing exams, GOOD LUCK! We hope you find ways of coping with exam stress which work for you, just like Alice did and if you click here, you’ll find lots more great Moving On advice on how best to revise.