How to beat exam stress 

It is coming up to the end of first term and everyone is tired and bored of revision… and then all of a sudden, your Christmas exams creep up! This can become a very stressful time for students trying to get through exams. For some, these exams will be their first exams at university, and it can be hard to know how to get through that period of time.  

Turn up to your classes 

One of my biggest tips is to continue going to your seminars and lectures right up till the end of term. Many students tend to lose interest and give up with classes near the end of term. Or they decided they need to use that time to revise instead. However, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make! 

By turning up to class you are more likely to get any hints or tips about the exams. The majority of the time, the university writes the exams that you take ad therefor the tutors have an idea of what is on the paper (or they eve wrote it themselves). This means they will be focusing more on exam topics when it gets nearer to the time of your exam. 

Go to your revision classes 

This links to my other point that you should always attend any revision sessions that get put on for you. Instead of trying to revise at home on your own, you should go to the sessions where the tutor will most likely be looking at mor important topics. It also means you can ask any questions you have.  

If you ask nicely, they might even give you pointers of what you should be revising! 

Planning takes away the stress 

No bad can come out of creating a plan. Why not write down all the topics you think you need to cover, and then dedicate a day before the exam to go over each topic. Divide your time how you best see fit.  

However, do not fall into the trap of spending all your time planning! Creating a pretty timetable with lots of colours on it will not get your through your exam if your do not follow it! 

Go for walks 

Walks are great for taking a break between revision or seminars. They are a good way to get some fresh air and reset. This is a great way to manage your stress. If you are struggling and it is getting a little too much, then take a break and come back after your walk with a more positive mind. 

Another thing you can do is meet up with a friend for a walk. This will be a good distraction to get your mind off any revision for a little while so you can get a good break from it. 

Sometimes things are clearer and more understandable when you take a second look at it.  

 

Get enough sleep 

Sleep is detrimental to your stress levels. If you are trying to attend classes, revise or take an exam on no sleep then you are going to have a bit problem. You will not be able to focus. So, the best thing to do is to prioritise your sleep and sort out your sleep pattern. At university it can be so easy to completely switch up your sleep pattern and go to sleep at 4 in the morning and wake up in the afternoon. But this is not a productive use of your time! The best thing to do is to slowly bring that time back round by an hour or half an hour each night and eventually you will have a better sleeping pattern.  

Stay hydrated 

When it comes to exam season, lots of students spends hours upon end in the library without any sleep, water or food. If you forget to keep drinking, then you will become hydrated, and this makes it harder for you to revise.  

It is a simple tip but often gets forgotten! 

Start fresh each day 

Stress is something that can get on top of you very easily and it can go on for a while. The best thing you can do when you are struggling is trying to treat each day like a brand-new day. Forget about anything that was worrying you the day before and move on. 

For example, if you are struggling with a certain topic and you just do not get it, then email your tutor either asking for a 1 to 1 or ask a few questions that you are stuck with. Then move on from this and start a brand-new topic. This way you are still being productive and getting through your revision without being stuck on one topic and not getting past it.   

How to get through exam revision: 

Of course, the main source of this stress is coming from revising from exams. So, the best thing for you to do is find the best way that you revise. Here are a few examples: 

Create mind maps or flashcards 

If you are a visual learner or you like coloured and highlighters, then give mind maps a go. Start with your topic in the middle of the page and write down all of your notes around it. You can also use this poster to get friends or family to test you on it.  

Alternatively, if you aren’t so into the colour side of things then you can just write out basic flashcards. You will be consolidating your learning by writing these cards, and then you can use them over and over again to test yourself on the knowledge.  

Go over past papers 

This is one of the best ways I think anyone can revise. After you have made any notes whether they be on your laptop, or on a mind map, etc, then your next step is to go through some past papers. Your tutor will more than likely offer you some past papers from previous years. Not only will this give you a good indication of the layout of the paper, but it will also give you examples of the types of questions and topics that have come up in the past. 

You may even be able to see a pattern in the past papers, like maybe one top has come up every year and that means it is an important one that will most likely come up in yours too. 

Final Thoughts 

The Christmas period can be a very stressful time for students so it is important to remember that if you are really struggling then you should reach out to your tutor. They are there to help you and would be more than happy to. If you need any additional help, they will be able to point you in the right direction. 

Remember to stay calm throughout the lead up to exams and just keep consistent. Do little bits each day if you can.