A racing heart, sweaty palms and sleepless nights...We've all been unfortunate to experience these feelings at some point along the way, and exam stress can affect you in a series of different unexplainable ways that can make preparing for exams, and sitting the actual exam a nightmare. Whilst exam stress can strike at any time and is completely normal, the good news is there are ways that can help you combat stress and anxiety effectively to help you perform at your best in each and every exam. So with the torturous exam season about to kick off in the next couple of weeks, here are some of the best coping strategies that will help you sail through revision and exams with as little stress as possible!
It's no surprise that participating in some regular form of exercise can help fight the tiresome effects of stress. Research has long been proven that exercising such as taking a walk, partaking in yoga or going for a gentle swim can help boost memory or brain power. No one expects you to revise for 24 hours straight, and in between study breaks having a little bit of gentle exercise will greatly improve your mood and your exam performance!
Share Your Stresses & Worries
As the saying goes, 'a problem shared is a problem halved'. Letting it all out and confiding your worries in a family member or a friend is incredibly cathartic, and can feel like you've lifted a huge weight off your shoulders. Keeping it all bottled up is the worst thing that you can do, telling someone your worries helps put everything into perspective and how you can rise above the exam stress. But if you're still not convinced, just remember 'Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere!'.
Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep affects people of all ages, regardless to whether you're studying for exams or not. But benefiting from a good nights sleep can do the world of good for you in terms of memory and concentration, thus helping you to recall that all important data on the day of your exam. If you suffer from insomnia or just can't shut your thoughts off, try taking a warm relaxing bath before bed with some lavender and switching off all TV's and devices 30 minutes before you sleep.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Whatever you do, don't leave revision to the night before the exam - this is most stress inducing thing that you can probably do! Planning and revising should begin months before your exams so you have plenty of time to consolidate the newly learned information. Before beginning your revision, most people greatly benefit from a revision plan, by doing so you can spread your revision workload evenly with scheduled study breaks. Having a plan instantly makes your whole study routine much more organised, and will help you align your goals with your day-to-day study.
Whilst the above are all long term coping strategies that over time will help to seriously minimise stress, for those last minute stresses that spring up on exam day, relaxation exercises are quick fix solutions that will help you to remain calm and collected, even if you don't feel it! There are many different exercises that you can employ, but these two tried and tested methods will help you relinquish control in a few minutes flat: