Top tips for managing exam stress (Blog)

If you find yourself worried or anxious about your upcoming exams, then you are not alone. 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 lovely Student Services team have answered some common questions about how you can manage exam stress and stay 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 tell yourself you will have a reward 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
It sounds really simple but 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 over-whelmed. 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 remember not to 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. Whether that is rewatching your favourite film, meeting a friend or practicing 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 more gentle 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 good grounding technique – identifying things you can smell, taste, touch, hear and see. You could 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 in to 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 and Garrow buildings.