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Here’s the playbook on beating exam stress to help you get good results…

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Okay, so your mock exams might not have gone well as you expected. Maybe you’re a perfectionist and are piling on the pressure. Whatever your situation, it’s time to beat exam stress. Things will be a lot smoother if you chill. That’s not to say but your feet up. You need to stay focussed. Here’s the playbook on beating exam stress to help you get good results. 

Fail to plan and you are planning to fail. The first step to success is to plan. Planning is the key to good revision. Set yourself targets and timescales. Once you have built the plan stick to it. It’ll keep you away from all those distractions. Build some rewards into the plan when you hit your target. Think watching a film, eating treats. Something that will get you motivated.

Remember to take regular breaks. Sitting starring at a book or a computer screen when you are tired is not effective. Rather than trying to trudge through the material when you know it’s not going in, take a ten minute break. In fact, plan to do that every hour. You’ll notice the difference and learn more efficiently. On the subject of being tired, get a good night’s sleep before the exam. Don’t be tempted to stay up all night revising and drinking energy drinks. 

When you’re revising get creative with your revision material to help. Think mind maps, flash cards, even a song. I bet you know the lyrics to the song of your favourite artist, but probably can’t recite the first 24 elements of the periodic table. Make a song about them and they’ll be easier to recall.

On the morning of an exam you may be nervous. The best thing to do is have a good breakfast. We perform best when we are not hungry, so tuck in. Ideally eat something that contains Omega 3 as that stimulates the brain. For example, eggs are packed full of that. Avoid sugary foods as they give you immediate energy and then a slump. You don’t want that in the middle of an exam. Also avoid tea and coffee. They are Diuretics, so you’ll be bursting for the loo in the middle of your exam. Not a comfortable place to be. 

Another tip is to be just in time for your exam. You want to be one of the last into the examination hall. There are two good reasons for this. You don’t want to be with people with pre-exam nerves asking silly questions about what you think may come up on the paper and whether you studied this or that. It can be a real confidence wrecker. The second reason is that it’ll be easier to find an exam seat, head for the vacant desks. The same tip applies for leaving the exam hall. Get away first or to the end and don’t hang around for a post mortem, particularly when you have more exams in the next few days. 

Finally, remember that you’re going to do your best. If it doesn’t go well, don’t be too hard on yourself. There are resit exams and a range of other options to ask your teachers and career advisors about. Good luck with your exams. We hope you get the results you are looking for.