Working towards and taking exams can be a stressful time but there are some things which you can do to minimise this, to help you to do the best that YOU possibly can.
1) Give yourself time and make a study timetable
Do not cram at the last minute. Review your syllabus and notes. Make a studying schedule and stick to it. Giving yourself structure can help you feel more in control of the situation.
2) Exercise, eat well and get enough sleep
Exercise can be great for uplifting and stabilizing mood, in turn relieving stress. Exercise regularly, eat regular and nutritious meals, with healthy snacks in between and be sure to get enough quality sleep. Try to avoid stimulants such as caffeine as these can increase anxiety. Ensuring good health is important, so do not neglect yours, especially during a time when you will want to be at your best.
3) Take regular breaks
You may feel like you need to study all day, every day to do well in your exams but this is not true. It is better for your overall health if you take regular breaks to do other things. Doing something like taking twenty minutes to walk around the block will refresh your mind and help you to concentrate better when you return to your studies.
4) Keep things in perspective
I am sure you have heard the phrase “exams are not the be all and end all” because it is true: Exam results are not everything and do not define who you are. There are so many other wonderful things about you. Do not compare yourself to others we all have our own unique abilities and qualities and if you do your absolute best then that is all you can do.
5) Don't go it alone
Studying all by yourself can get lonely so why not do it with your friends? Get together with classmates, work together this can be great for keeping morale going.
Similarly, if you are struggling then use your school or university’s resources. Talk to your teachers or tutors. They are after all there to help you and will have spoken to many students, lots of times about similar issues before.
6) Don't keep it bottled up
It is normal to feel apprehensive or worried about upcoming exams but if this is becoming out of control talk to your family or those that you trust. They may not always have the solutions but sometimes talking to someone else about your worries can get stress out in the open and not make it seem so bad. Keeping it in will only make it worse.
7) Pace yourself through panic
It is common to panic before, during or even after an exam. If you find yourself panicking, take a moment to calm down. Take some deep breaths, you can even imagine breathing in calm and then letting go of tension as you breathe out. Try saying the word “calm” to yourself as you breathe in. If you can get up and walk around, do so. When you return to the problem, think about how you can break it down into small chunks and then tackle them one at a time.
8) Plan for exam day
When exam day is finally here it can feel as though your nerves as frazzled, but you can make it less stressful if you feel prepared. Get a good night’s sleep, making sure that you have gathered everything you need ready for the next day, eat a good breakfast, and arrive at the exam location early. Bring a small bottle of water to stay hydrated.
9) Avoid the “exam post-mortem”
Once your exam is finished, it can be tempting to think about all the things you could have done differently, but this will only make you feel stressed. You cannot go back into the exam hall to change anything, so instead focus on the fact that you did your best.
10) Take some time out
During your busy schedule, find time away for a complete break to distract you for a little while. This could be by continuing with a part time job or having a night out with friends. Find something completely different to do for a few hours. You are allowed a social life around studying.
11) Take a break from social-media
When you are not studying try to avoid using social media or reduce the amount of time which you spend on digital platforms, at least just until you have finished all your exams. Give your brain a break in between!
12) Be kind to yourself.
Make a list of all the things which you have achieved so far, or things which you like about yourself, or which other people value you for. Believe in yourself - what the mind can believe it can achieve!
Good luck, you've got this!