Sitting in the seat that your future hangs on is nerve-wracking. You’ve worked hard and studied hard, but there’s one test left. The exam is looming, and your anxiety is kicking into high gear. The hours leading up to the exam are intense, and you’re feeling more and more stressed.
Exam season is upon us, and that means it’s time to buckle down and prepare for some tough exams. But what happens when the stress level starts to build up? This can happen to any of us during a stressful period, but it’s important to learn how to handle exam stress.
Exams can be stressful, but there are a few things you can do to manage those pre-exam jitters. To help, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to handling exam stress.
Take a deep breath:
You know the feeling: your heart is racing, your stomach is churning, and your brain can’t focus on anything. Those pre-exam nerves are natural and are natural to almost everyone, so make sure you use them to your advantage and distract yourself from the panic. Take a few moments to yourself, close your eyes, and breathe. Just focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
Make time for exercise:
Exercise can be a great way to help you relax both mentally and physically. While exercise won’t make the test itself easier, it will flood your body with endorphins, helping to relieve some stress. Additionally, exercise helps more oxygen get to the brain, which is perfect for improving your mental abilities! Stress can also cause aches and pains, so be sure to stretch or visit a massage therapist to alleviate this and be at your best, physical health wise, on the day of your exam.
Prepare the night before the exam:
Make sure you sleep early the night before the exam. Preparing for an exam is never easy, but it might be a lot less stressful if you know what you’re doing the night before. Review your notes one final time the night before your exam, pack your bag ready for the morning, and then relax. Obsessively going over and over your notes the night before won’t help, so just make sure you’re well rested.
If you feel like you are struggling, talk to someone:
The prospect of exams can cause any student to feel stressed, but those who are already dealing with mental health conditions may find themselves feeling even more anxious and nervous. Exam season is stressful enough in general, but it may feel even more overwhelming for students with mental health issues. It may be a good idea to talk to a professional if you feel like you can’t cope, and they will give you some advice on how to manage.
Set realistic goals:
Exams can be some of the most stressful times for students. This is partly because of the pressure to do well and perform well and partly because of the fear of failing. But you don’t have to let exam stress hold you back from success. The trick is to know what’s realistic for you and to set realistic goals. Remember, you don’t need to get straight A’s, and if your parents are pressuring you, just remember that modern exams are a lot harder than back in their day!
Stress is inevitable, and while stress can be helpful at times, too much of it can hurt your mental and physical health. When stress starts to take its toll, it can become difficult to focus on your studying, and it can also cause other physical issues such as headaches and an increase in hunger. Fortunately, you can decrease your stress and improve your mental health by learning a few techniques to manage exam stress.
Life as a student inevitably involves stress. From exams to deadlines to relationship drama, we all experience some level of stress. For many, stress is a natural part of life and something that shouldn’t be avoided. The trick is to learn how to handle it!