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How do I overcome exam stress?

Exam stress is normal and quite frankly, very common. You might experience it because of various reasons for e.g., you are not prepared for the exam or that you find it hard to understand what you are studying or preparing for. Breathe!

There are tips and tricks to manage exam stress:

Well ahead of the exams, you need to take the time to plan. You should prepare a study plan at the start of your semester or term. You should be aware of all the critical milestones in your semester i.e., your assessment due dates, your exam dates, and your study periods. If you are also working part-time whilst studying, then you need to speak with your employers about your plan and let them know that you need to limit your hours or shifts during your preparation period.

You need to look after yourself. Self-care is essentially important in all that you do. You need to spend adequate time for sports and games and socialising with friends. You need to eat healthy and never go hungry when you are mugging for your exams. If you have no time, make sure you store nutritional nibbles in the pantry to allow for snacking in between. Exercising is always important to keep you energised and focus so do not be lazy!

Remember to have study breaks in between your study periods. If you are hitting the books for more than 50 minutes, go out and grab some fresh air. Staring at greenery and exercising your eyes are a good way to help you regain your interest and focus. If you are taking a break in between, you can take a quick shower, meditate, or go for a short run. When you resume studying, you need to stay focused. Therefore, learn to say ‘no’ to party invites that will take you out and about till after midnight and try to switch off your phone and social media platforms so that you won’t be distracted. Above all, stay away from drugs or alcohol as there are long term effects that can harm your mental and emotional well-being.

Having enough sleep is equally important. Try to calm and relax yourself as you approach bedtime. Take some herbal tea. Camomile normally helps with calming the nerves. Try to relax or meditate and slow down your brain activities before you hit the sack.

If all the above fails, please reach out to your friends or counsellor for help.

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