So, I know that a lot of people are doing exams at the moment/have exams coming up or have just completed some exams, whether that be in school, college or university. I'm in year 10 at school, and I completed my English Literature paper 1 GCSE on Monday, and I completed my English Literature paper 2 GCSE today, I also have a Maths Statistics GCSE exam on the 16th of June. The one main thing that I have learnt through these exams is the amount of stress that you go through, and I have only started my GCSE examinations this year, so I can only imagine the stress that College and University students go through!
Anyway, today's blog post is going to be about the top 13 ways to deal with exam stress! I'm sorry if this isn't relevant to you, but I know that a lot of people around the world are sitting examinations at the moment, if you are not... then please feel free to skip this post, and come to it when you have examinations in the future!
without any further ado... here are the top 13 ways to deal with exam stress!
1. Be Prepared!
Make sure that you know what you have supposed to have learnt, and that you have practised or revised for you exams. Make sure you know what to include in your exams and what you get the marks for especially if you have to write essays, and they check on your spelling, punctuation and grammar, you can find this out from past mark schemes on the exam board's website.
2. Make a Plan!
You can make a revision schedule so that you know when you have to revise and what you have to revise, this is a key thing in being able to deal with exam stress, because you have an organised system that you can follow, with equal revision slots for each exam/subject. Another way to do this, is to break down tasks or subjects that you find to hard or overwhelming and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Perhaps you need to spend more time one one subject, than you do another? Vary the timetable with time spent on different subjects so you don't get too bored of one subject and stop taking notice.
3. Know When and Where you Work Best.
Maybe you work better in a particular place? At a particular time? Work when you are most alert, maybe you prefer to work at night time than during the day? Or in the morning? - Choose which ever time is suitable for you! Everybody has different revision styles, some people prefer to sit in a nice tidy space with a nice neat table, you may prefer to sit under your blankets with your laptop or a book, where ever you feel the calmest is the best place to deal with exam stress.
4. Take a Break!
Humans can only concentrate properly for about 40-45 minutes at one time, if you try any longer you will tend to just forget what you have tried to cram in. You don't need to revise like mad! As long as you know you have tried your best, that's all that matters really, you don't want to be giving yourself a headache revising like mad to cram all information in the day before your exam. Its suggested you take between 10 and 20 minutes between every 45 minutes revising, just to relax, forget about your exams for a short time, and have a bit of "you-time".
5. Eat Well.
Make sure you keep your blood sugar levels steady so that your energy doesn't go down during the day, and you can sleep well at night is a vital way of dealing with exam stress. Try to avoid a lot of processed, sugary foods like biscuits, breakfast cereal, chocolate and sweets. Lean protein like chicken, fish or eggs, plenty of vegetables and carbohydrates that release their energy slowly like wholegrain bread, rice and pasta will keep energy levels steady. Pulses like chickpeas and lentils are great for vegetarians or others since they both contain protein and slow-release carbohydrates.
If you are so nervous before an exam that you can't eat then you don't have to force yourself too, your body will catch up, just make sure you stay hydrated.
6. Drink Well.
Staying hydrated with lots of water, low-calorie sodas, or herbal teas are key to staying awake and alert. Juices and sugary drinks can make you hyper and mess up your level of energy. Drinks that contain a lot of caffeine for example, caffeinated tea or coffee perk you up, but stick to about 4-5 cups a day. And if you feel hyper or have trouble sleeping drink your last cup around late afternoon. Cola, energy and sports drinks contain a lot of sugar and caffeine.
7. Get Exercise!
This, is probably, one of the best ways of dealing with exam stress! Any thing from going on a walk to swimming to playing football, helps to reduce physical tension that can lead to aches and pains, and releases natural endorphins, which are basically feel good brain chemicals. Have friends join in if you can't get motivated.
8. Avoid Stimulants.
Just like caffeine, lots of cigarettes, alcohol or drugs can give you the impression that you are somehow dealing with exam stress. However, they can leave you craving more and, in excess, will either slow or bring you down, or over stimulate you.
9. Sleep Well.
It is understandable to toss and turn the night before and exam and our bodies can cope without sleep for a day or so. Worrying about not being able to sleep, makes you even more stressed, so there are many things you can do so that you can sleep.
Having a nice hot bath, and being in a place just dedicated to sleeping, without a TV on or being on your phone, tablet or computer, will help you switch off. If you still can't go to sleep, do something repetitive such as counting or a jigsaw can help you to sleep, as you will get bored.
If you do not end up sleeping at all as you really, really can't, don't be too worried, as adrenaline will make you get through you exams at the end of the day!
If you are feeling really anxious, then go to a quite room and take a deep breath, count to 10 and breath out, and keep repeating until you feel a bit less anxious. Another thing that can really help if you can't get to a calm space, is thinking about your calmest place and pretending you are there, this can ease you.
11. Talk about it with Someone!
Almost everyone feels stressed about exams, even if its only a little bit - so you're not alone. Expressing your worries to a family member, friend or teacher will help release them from your system, therefore making you feel like a weight has been lifted.
12. Reward Yourself.
Get treats involved with your timetable-Then get them when you feel you are sticking to your timetable. Plan something exciting to do at the end of your examinations.
13. Keep it in Perspective!
If you feel you have really messed up in your exam/s, there is nothing you can do until you get the results. Worrying about it will not help - and may reduce your chances of doing well in other exams you are taking as you are worrying about ones in the past. Think about what you could do about a disappointing result - this will help you feel in control.
Yes, its great to do well in exams. But whether you are suffering GCSE stress, A-Level stress or taking University exams, remember that exams are not the only things that will help you succeed in life. Employers will be equally as interested in other things, such as attitude, work-rate or ability to get on with others.
ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD!!
There we go, there are my top 13 tips on how to deal with exam stress! Take all of these points into consideration and just do the best that you can do! As long as you know you tried your best, that's the most that you can do! Good luck in all of your exams guys!!
All of the exam stress aside, I am not going to be uploading next week as I am ill at the moment but I promised 2 blog posts this week, so I chose to do this one, and also I have a week off of school next week and I am going out with my family so I am not going to be home much. Sorry Guys!! I promise 3 posts the week after next, or a mid-week post next week if I do happen to have time! So sorry guys!