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How to reduce stress and prepare for exams
How to reduce stress and prepare for exams
Here are some ways to help reduce stress and ensure you're as organised as possible for exam time.
Caroline avatar
Written by Caroline
Updated over a week ago

When you're a student, assessment time can be a particularly stressful time. Here are some ways you can help yourself be as prepared as possible:

Take the time to plan

  • Prepare a study plan and goals for each day/week. Make sure it's balanced with other important things in your life - that way it will be easier to stick to.

  • If you're working as well, talk to your employer early to let them know you need to limit your shifts/hours while studying.

  • Create a study space that is comfortable, quiet, well lit, organised, and has no distractions nearby, such as a TV, phone, people talking, etc.

  • Make sure you have everything you need for each study session as this helps to feel more confident and organised.

Look after yourself

  • Self-care is especially important when you have a big demand in your life - that way you have the energy to commit to what you need to accomplish.

  • Build activities you enjoy and that bring your stress levels down into your study plan, such as sport, spending time with friends, the internet, etc.

  • Don't get hungry before or while studying. Grab nutritional snacks that keep you going, such as fruit/nuts/dairy, etc.

  • Remember to get some exercise every day as this helps you to keep focused and energetic.

Rest when you need to

  • Work out what times of day you have the most energy and plan to study then.

  • Don't study for more than 40-60 mins without a short break. Even a 5-minute break will help. A glass of water helps too!

  • When you have a break do something physical or fun, such as go for a short run or play with a pet.

  • Try to keep your focus on school and exams rather than other stuff happening in your life; you don't need this extra worry around relationships, friendships etc. right now.

  • Relaxation is important, especially before bed, to slow brain activity down. Try some slow, deep breathing, a shower or a bath, herbal tea etc.

  • Learn more about sleeping well.

Stay focused

  • Say "no" to parties during the weeks close to the exams. This will help to keep you refreshed and energised.

  • When studying, switch your phone and email off to limit distractions.

  • Try to keep a focus on your health and wellbeing by not using things like drugs or alcohol; they can make it much harder to study.

Ask for help

  • Practise writing essays and show your teachers/tutors to gain feedback.

  • Ask teachers/tutors the best way to study for each subject; they have many years of experience they can share with you.

  • Some teachers/tutors are happy to be contacted during the time leading up to the exams. Find out which ones you can contact and make use of this if you need to.

  • If you have trouble approaching your own teacher/tutor for advice, talk to one of the other ones who are across the same subject.

  • Group study sessions can be a helpful and entertaining way of studying, but keep your focus on what you want to achieve with these sessions.

  • Talk about what you are studying with family members and friends as this helps to retain the info more, especially names and dates, etc.

Be prepared

  • Read/ write everything three times as this also helps to commit the info to memory.

  • Use your trial exam results to focus in on what you need to study.

  • Use previous exam papers to get a feel for what to expect.

  • Ask friends what they are doing that is helping with their study or friends who did it last year.

  • You need to study within 24 hours of the exam on that subject to retain more info.

  • Write things in coloured pen that you have trouble remembering (such as names and dates) and stick it on your toilet wall/door. Sounds funny, but it really works!

Day of the exam

  • Do your usual routine, for example, have what you normally eat for breakfast.

  • Take some water and a healthy snack (if allowed) to the exam.

If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Article originally published by Headspace.

All content in Sonder's Help Centre is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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