There’s no doubt about it, exam period is one of most stressful periods we are likely to encounter in our lives. Whether this is right now at university or later in life during our careers; coping with exams is rarely stress free and straight forward. In this article, we look to give you the lowdown on how to deal with exam stress; from relaxation techniques to coping with exams in the most prudent way possible. With a bit of luck, our latest guide will help you to take all of the stress out of your exams and ensure you go into the summer looking forward to your grades and the end of a successful semester.
What is Exam Stress Exactly?
It can be easy for individuals who seem to be unaffected by stress to trivialise just how hard it can be to knuckle down and revise in the most responsible way possible. If you have ever experienced exam stress, you will know that it can be quite a challenge and if we aren’t completely focused; we are very unlikely to be digesting all the information we need to effectively.
Exam stress isn’t dissimilar to other types of anxiety and can present itself in a number of ways. We feel you should be looking out for these tell-tale signs that you need relax and change your revision regime:
- Aches & Pains
- Heart palpitations
- Loss of appetite
- Anxiety & Irritability
- Loss of energy
Learning how to deal with exam stress is vital to addressing the above issues and making sure they don’t adversely impact the degree you deserve to achieve at the end of your studies.
Coping with the Exam Period
Coping with exams and ensuring that the above symptoms don’t ruin your degree and perhaps more importantly, impact your health, is all about realising you are indeed stressing yourself unduly. Learning to realise you are doing this is key and when you do, you can obviously take some steps to calm yourself down and study in a healthy way.
Here are some tips on actually coping with these symptoms:
Don’t Compare Yourself To Your Peers – This is the best way to wind yourself up and effectively guarantee a bout of exam stress. Everyone approaches studying and revision differently and comparing how many times you have read Macbeth will just amplify your anxiety.
Eat Well – An unfortunate side effect of being stressed is a loss of appetite and this will just make you feel even worse, so be sure to eat lots of healthy food. We all know that vitamins and minerals help our brains function and if you are also having the odd night out (which you definitely deserve), then you need to get your energy back up with a balanced diet.
Get Some Kip – Again, if you are burning the candle at both ends then you need to ensure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep. This is all about balance, too much and you will feel groggy and not want to study and not enough, and your brain just won’t be able to cope. Get your sleep cycle in order and you really will feel far more able to deal with any amount of exam stress.
Hit The Gym – Not dissimilar to the last two points, but perhaps the most crucial. If you just can’t focus and the exam stress is getting to you then why not go out for a long run or hit the gym. If you have slept and eaten well, the exercise is the perfect final step to making sure you are reducing the stress of your exams as much as you possibly can.
Breathe – If you are having a panic attack from the overwhelming volume of work you have or an impending deadline, then take some deep breaths. Hyperventilation is the best way to get yourself into an absolute stupor, so breathe deeply and slowly and start again from the top of our recommended tips for reducing exam stress, we promise you will feel better almost immediately.
These relaxation techniques really do work and have helped millions of students just like you to safely manoeuvre exam period with great success. It is only too easy for everyone to tell you to be calm and collected during one of the most important periods of your life, but these tips will help you to feel so much better and attack things pragmatically. We wish you all the success in the world.