Working towards exams can creating feelings of worry and being under pressure. This can be particularly stressful if you’re trying to get the grades to get onto your dream college course or getting into University or an apprenticeship. However, there are a range of things that you can do to help deal with the stress that you might be feeling...
At the bottom of this article there is a really useful document you can download which will be useful for you to understand stress. Although it is aimed at students on a campus, we think it is applicable to anybody. Particularly look at the last page!
1. Keep it in perspective
Exams aren't everything. Whatever happens in your exams, you can still be successful in life afterwards. Employers don't just look at your exam scores. They're just as interested in your attitude, your transferable skills and how well you'll get on with other people. You've already done incredibly well to get to where you are, and stopping or failing exams at this point isn't 'throwing away' your past success or stopping your future success.
Once you've done an exam, try to forget about it. Worrying won't change your mark.
2. Get that organised feeling
Picture your exams as a time-bound project. It means there’s a definite end point. Work out the basics: which exams you have, how the marks are allocated, and how much you have to learn for each one. Don't expect to learn everything; but having in mind where you'll get the marks can help you prioritise. Most importantly. schedule in plenty of free time to unwind, and make sure you take it! Remember not to panic if you go slightly off schedule - tomorrow is another day.
Nobody can work all day every day. If you give yourself plenty of rest you can do the same amount of work in half the time or less.
3. Get into some good habits
Take frequent breaks. Psychologists say we can only concentrate properly for 30-45 minutes. When you do take a break make sure you don’t stay at your desk, you could go for a walk or even just make a cup of tea! Eat well & drink lots of water! Avoid highs and lows of energy, by eating slow-release foods like fruit and veg. Think about when and where you work best. There's no one best place or time to work - it's about what works for you. Keep active. Fresh air will clear your head and perk you up. Try to get about 8 hours' sleep a night. If you're stressed about not being able to sleep, there are lots of ways to aid a good night's sleep.
You know yourself best. Do what’s best for you!
4. Avoid bad habits
Check out this brilliant article on how NOT to cope with exam stress. We’ve picked out some highlights. Don't set yourself ridiculous goals. Avoid setting the day up to be a disappointment. Don't cut out all the enjoyment from your life. It's tempting to decide you'll just knuckle down to work and "focus" - it's impossible to focus without giving your brain rest by doing other activities. Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol and drugs impede your energy and concentration in the long term.
If you don’t know if it’s a bad habit, ask what your friends are doing!
5. Get support from friends and family
Don't be put off by friends saying that they are doing huge amounts of revision. One of the key reasons people feel exam stress is due to comparing themselves to other people. It's helpful to let your parents know what you think you have the capacity to achieve, and to insist that the best way to get there is to have support from your parents, not pressure.
It helps to get it out of your system, and they may well be able to help think about practical strategies to deal with exam stress.
Lastly, if you're feeling overwhelmed or are finding it difficult to cope with the stress around exams, make sure you get support. Inspiration and ideas from this blog came from Student Minds. If you need help, talk to Mind or speak to a teacher, friend or parent.
Read more information & the original article here: http://www.studentminds.org.uk/examstress.htm