How to deal with Exam Stress
People often talk about exercise being good for us both physically and emotionally, but why is that? What is it exactly that makes exercise so good for our mind or how much of it do we need to do in order to feel those effects? Read on to find out!
KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE
It’s something you’ll hear time and time again through your academic life, whether that be from teachers or parents, exams aren’t everything. Keeping the exam in perspective will help keep your worries to a minimum. No matter what you score in exams, you still have a future. It’s true that employers don’t just consider exams when hiring staff, there’s a whole array of other factors which come into play. These can include work experience, skills and even your personality!
Remaining organised in the leadup to an exam is crucial to help you keep calm. Every student works differently, but generally organised students are less stressed and perform better! Here are a few ways to ensure your organisation skills are in tip top shape for exam season:
Prepare in advance
Put all relevant exam dates into your calendar as soon as they are released. This should help prevent those all important dates creeping up on you!
Find out how you revise best
There are countless ways to revise, from making notes, recording yourself and producing flashcards. Find out how you best learn to avoid wasting time.
Vary your revision techniques
There may be one revision method you excel at, but keep your techniques varied to prevent boredom and help you maintain concentration.
Take regular breaks
The general rule for studying is work for 40 to 50 minute sets, and break for 10 to 15. This will vary depending on your attention span and ability to focus. Ensure you stick to your breaks and get up and leave your work space during this time. Go for a walk, grab some food or have a chat with a friend.
You should also remember to schedule in longer breaks, or even whole days with fun activities in order to give you something to look forward to. There are often a number of summer concerts and events during the exam period, plan a few in leading up to your exams, and afterwards of course!
Set Realistic Goals
We tend to get in over our heads when we start revising, and set unrealistic goals for work to complete. Starting the day with achievable goals can be great motivation, and you’ll feel great ticking more off your to-do list. Your achievable goals will differ from your friends, depending on your subject, how quickly you write and the difficulty of your topic. Try to set more time aside for more difficult items, so you don’t feel rushed. Don’t try to cover all your content in one day, set one or two modules/subjects per day to switch between, this way you won’t get bored of one subject too.
Excercise and eat well
You may feel drained from studying all day, and exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it is a great stress reliever and helps release endorphins, which are essentially our happy hormones. Exercising will help keep you alert, and generally help improve your wellbeing at what is a very stressful period in your life. Try a short workout in your bedroom, go for a run with a friend or hit the gym, whichever takes your fancy.
Eating well is crucial for our mental as well as our physical health. There are a variety of foods that have been proven to aid our brain when studying. Here are a few:
Fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, dairy products
Fruit and vegetables like berries and pomegranate
Oily fish, beef, chicken, flax seeds and eggs
Make sure you are eating a healthy and balanced diet to keep you healthy and learning well. Don’t deprive yourself of your favourite naughty treats though, give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your revision session, like a chocolate bar.
Talk to someone
There’s no reward for suffering through exam stress alone, so talk to someone! Have a chat with a family member, friend or even a tutor and get your feelings off your chest, it can be a real help when the stress is getting to you. There are also always mental health professionals available to share your troubles with. Here at Mind Allies, we’re always available 24/7 for a chat. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
So there are some ways that you can help reduce your stress levels in the lead up to exam season. If you need someone to talk to, please do get in touch with us. Happy revising, and best of luck with your exams!