Exams and deadlines are tough and stressful for anyone no matter what age, from school, to uni or in the workplace. Added pressure can affect people in many ways. I have always been ok when I have stepped into the exam room but the weeks preparing beforehand were always a struggle. It is important to remember that this stress won’t last forever however hard it may seem right now. You will come out the other side and be proud of yourself for going in their and doing all you could.
It will be tough and it takes a lot of time to prepare for but here are some techniques, to help you stay calm on the lead up to your exams. If you are prepared there is no need to put added pressure on yourself or accept it from other people. Just do your best.
1. Make a plan – This can be daily, weekly, per subject whatever works for you. Forming a plan or ‘to do’ list allows you to virtually take all of the many things you need to do and compile a simple and easy to follow guide. You will know each day what you need to cover or complete. A visual guide prevents panic and confusion, which avoids stress. It is also a good idea to set short time blocks for each area you want to cover, short precise study sessions for twenty minutes for example will keep the mind focused followed by a ten minute break before you move onto something else.
2. Talk – If you are worried or have anxiety about your upcoming exams or deadlines and can’t rein it in. Talk to someone, a tutor, a friend, family anyone you trust about how you are feeling. It’s ok and perfectly normal to find it hard to process stressful situations. Always remember this is a temporary feeling and you WILL get through it. Try and remember past situations you were in, you got through those and so will you this time. It is just about learning to control these negative feelings and focus more on that you can do it.
3. Sleep more, Drink more – probably the most important step of all. Sleep is the time all your hardwork is soaked in and retained by the brain. Not only will sleep help to store all your studies but it will refresh your body ready for the next day, it’s crucial. Always make time for sleep. Water is also key, you need to keep hydrated throughout the whole day, regular drinks; avoiding caffeine where you can will keep you focused and your head clear during this pressured time. Always take a drink of water into your exam if you are allowed to drink throughout too.
4.Put your pen, books or laptop down – take some time out to focus on something else. Go for a walk, call a friend, have a bath, play a sport for half an hour. Taking the time to grab some fresh air will refresh your mind and allow what you have been studying to be taken in. Creating a good balance of study and rest periods is so important, don’t feel guilty for some taking ‘you’ time.
5. Relax and have confidence – Remember how much you have already achieved, you can do it again this time too. Make sure you get a good sleep the night before and have breakfast on the day. Try to keep relaxed, no last minute cramming, it won’t help! Keep calm and breathe as you head in, be confident that you can do it. You have prepared hard and this will show in your results. Just do your best, you can do it!
~~ The more prepared I am, the less fear I have! ~~