Exam season is upon us. The end of the year, when our academic fate rests in the hands of examiners. We understand that exam stress is sometimes overwhelming and it compels us to doubt our potential. Therefore, we want to describe strategies that can help you mitigate exam stress and anxiety, and fortify your confidence.
For the soon-to-be test takers, you may consider the following tips to reduce stress during exams. Always remember that it is important to maintain a stress-free and motivated mindset in order to excel.
Want to be as cool as a cucumber during the grueling exam season? Want to find answers for how to deal with exam stress? You are at the right place, let’s dive in!
All the studying, late-night revisions, and deadlines can exhaust your mental energy reserves. However, one may practice the following to alleviate exam stress:
- Get proper sleep: Mulling over an all-nighter before the big day? Bad idea! Science tells us that sound sleep is imperative for optimal cognitive function, therefore, we strongly recommend that you hit the sack nice and early before exam day. A tired mind is the devil’s workshop (your devil being the exam stress that eats your grades!)
- Prepare a timetable and stick to it: Smart Work > Hard Work. Studying for fourteen hours a day is not only an unhealthy practice, but also an unproductive one. Thus, we recommend that you construct a schedule that allows you to dedicate time to coursework as well as rejuvenation. Both are equally important. For example, studying for about an hour and then going for a short stroll in a garden is a nourishing combo that reduces exam stress!
- Practice some meditation or physical activity every day: Be it an immersive session of meditation or any sort of physical activity, both of them are efficient stressbusters. When exam stress looms large, such additions to your daily routine produce feel-good, revitalizing chemicals in the brain—endorphins.
- Watch what you eat: Junk food might seem like a tempting prospect. However, one must be mindful of the fact that such low-protein foods induce lethargy in our body, which in turn fuels exam stress. Try to replace the BigMac with some fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and other healthy foods. These will strengthen your immunity and sharpen your mind.
Time Management is the Key
Managing time in an organized and wise manner is not just important during exam seasons but also throughout our lifetimes. Thus, you must plan your days and set reasonable targets for yourself. Good time management means maintaining a sustainable pace in completing your coursework, budgeting enough time for revision, and incorporating extra-curricular activities in your routine. being in charge of your workload and budgeting enough time for revisiting concepts. Here are a few recommendations:
- Start your day early: The early bird gets the worm! (In your case, the worm being good grades) If you wake up early, you will have more time to execute your plans. It’s as simple as that! Early morning is also a great time to study as your mind is rested and your body is energized. Having said that, some people are more comfortable in burning the midnight oil, to each his own.
- Go for the low-hanging fruit first: Powering through the easier tasks first builds valuable momentum. Use this technique if exam stress is debilitating you and not letting you move past the beginning line. Moreover, achieving a number of small goals in quick succession will also do a world of good to your confidence. This will motivate you to undertake the more challenging assignments.
- Limit recreation time: To reiterate, recreation is vital. However, one must understand the importance of prioritizing tasks, especially during crunch time. If you find yourself watching Netflix at two in the morning, there is a high probability that you might experience symptoms of exam stress the next morning. Shallow work tires your brain and weakens your focus. In lieu of such activities, try to find something that is more engaging and productive.
- Use technology to hone your organization skills: Leveraging technology to manage your time and organize your work is a good idea. You may set schedules and arrange your tasks in an organizer app. Use notes and reminders, create events on Google calendar, and use the timer while attempting mock tests.
Motivation is the reason for your desire to achieve. It is a crucial factor when it comes to exam preparation. While external factors such as affirmation from others and good grades might motivate some students, others, on the flip side, use their aspiration to learn and grow to motivate themselves. Whatever the source of motivation might be, it can certainly amp up your preparation strategy and keep you going. Here are a few tips to keep the spirits high:
- Focus on your goals: One must be aware of their overarching goals; the bigger picture is always more important. Post reminders in your room, on your laptop, or in any place that you frequent. Remember, out of sight means out of mind. When one is cognizant of their targets, they are less likely to experience exam stress.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals: When setting goals for yourself, always remember the acronym SMART. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Fixing small, SMART goals will allow you to track your progress in a systematic manner. These goals should include both short-term and long-term goals.
- Reward yourself: Small but regular rewards dispel exam stress! This technique will also be a source of motivation. You can customize these rewards according to your own preferences.
- Seek help whenever required: If you feel that you are losing focus and slowing down, please seek help from a mentor, a friend, a parent, or a teacher. These people understand you well and their emotional support will more often than not help you thrive in your academic endeavors.
We earnestly hope that these tricks and tips will assist you in your efforts to tackle exam stress. Irrespective of the exam results, please ensure that you maintain a composed and healthy mindset. This will help you learn and grow in life. We wish you the best for the upcoming exam season!