Top tips for managing exam stress (Blog)

If you’re finding yourself worried or anxious about your upcoming exams, then you're not alone. Our Student Services team share their brilliant tips on managing exam stress and staying well.

You may find that you’re experiencing a range of stress-related symptoms that can make you feel even worse. These symptoms could include having a loss of appetite, constant tiredness or negative thoughts.

Our Student Services team have answered some common student concerns and worries with their tips on managing exam stress and staying well below:

I don’t even know where to start with my revision -

Starting small is really important so put a timer on your phone for 30 minutes and reward yourself when the alarm goes off (message a friend, grab a snack). Continue to do this process and you will have completed more than you would have if you’d done nothing. This small accomplishment can lead to a sense of achievement.

I am tired all the time and have no energy for revision

When we meet our basic needs in a healthy and productive way, it can make ALL the difference. Try and keep a sleep routine - going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.

My appetite has changed and I don’t have the motivation to revise

Remember to venture outside, get some fresh air and sunlight. Being in nature can aid our sleep rhythms, help us to gain a different perspective on the world and ground us when we feel overwhelmed. Try to eat lots of fruit and veg - we need the right fuel to function and perform to the best of our ability! Remain hydrated and don’t skip meals.

I don’t have time to do anything other than revise, I feel really overwhelmed

Remember to take some down time from revision and engage in activities that mean something to you and can provide you with a ‘feel good’ boost - watch your favourite film, meet a friend or practice a hobby, you will notice a marked difference in your mood.

I often think that I’m going to fail my exams and worry that my future will be ruined

Often in stressful situations we can find that our thoughts can be unhelpful and often have more of a bullying tone than one of a supportive friend. Common thoughts include, “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll never pass, what’s the point” but these should all be questioned, and perhaps re-framed thoughts are not facts! When we are kinder and gentler to ourselves, we can notice big changes in our mood.

I always get extremely nervous before exams

If you are feeling overwhelmed before or during an exam the 5,4,3,2,1 model is a great grounding technique – focus on your breathing and identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. Wear a scent so you have something to smell or even eat a mint before you go in so you have something to taste. It helps us not only get back into our bodies but also distracts our minds from any negative thoughts we may be having.

I sometimes wonder if I can be bothered

This hard work won’t be forever. It will pass and you will hopefully look back at this difficult stage grateful that you put in the best you could!

For more information or support on how to deal with exam stress, please email, call 01208 224460 or pop in to see the Student Services teams in Temple T010.