10 Steps towards stress-free (ish) exams

I know personally that exams can be a really hard and stressful time of the year at university, but if you think about what you’re doing, prepare and look after yourself during this time, you’ll feel a lot better about it. These are just a few tips that I picked up over my three years at university that could help you on your way to a less stressful exam period.

  • The first step is obvious, PREPARE! Preparation is the top priority to retain your sanity during exam period. Make revision cards, use bright coloured pens/highlighters, and make posters – anything that will catch your eye. I’ve also heard of people making up revision songs – whatever helps you remember… (But try not to sing in the library!)

 

  • START EARLY: don’t leave revision until the last minute as you may not be able to cram it all in. If you rush it, you may end up forgetting sections, and once you get in to the exam it will typically come up in the paper. Don’t put yourself in that position; it causes a lot of stress that could be avoided.

 

  • Study groups: if you have a group of friends revising for the same test, take the time to sit down with that group. I suggest you don’t spend all of your time studying in groups as there is the temptation to chat; however, comparing notes and ideas is extremely helpful and can often prompt further thoughts/ideas. Discussing your work is also a really good way of understanding it.

 

  • Attend any revision classes that are available to you! Most, if not all, universities provide revision sessions prior to exams, so utilise this service!

 

  • Work/Life Balance: basically don’t forget to have a life. Set your day up in a way that you can have a break, meet your friend for lunch and have a natter for a  couple of hours before you get back to the library, it helps!
  • Eat and drink well! (I don’t mean chocolate and alcohol) a lot of people when they’re stressed either over eat or under eat, both clearly not very healthy and can cause tiredness and loss of focus. Keep yourself hydrated with water, eat properly, regularly and healthily as it helps your concentration!

 

  • Get as much sleep as you can, don’t stay up past 11pm. Wake up early to get started again. You will lose concentration if you’re tired.
  • Take breaks and go for a walk to get fresh air and clear your mind. This will reduce stress levels!

 

  • Make concise notes/quotes on a piece of paper and read over it before you go in to your exam. It’s surprising what you can remember in there!

 

  • Equipment: before your exam remember to sort out what equipment you will need. Take a bottle of water, sipping this can calm your nerves.

 

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