Exam Stress Releasing Tips and Techniques
How to Overcome Exam Tension
Exams can be a major cause of stress if you're a student. You may worry about your grades and future based on the outcome of an exam. Stressing out, however, will only make it harder to take the exam. Work on taking care of yourself. Practice basic self-care like eating right and getting enough sleep. Study in a way that does not increase your stress. Study a little bit over a long period of time, allowing yourself to take breaks. Lastly, reach out to others. Talk out your stress with friends. Keeping things bottled up will make stress worse.
Taking Care of Yourself
Get enough sleep to keep you energized for your exam.Not sleeping right can affect your mood, leading to an excess of stress. In the weeks leading up to the exam, make sleep a priority. Strive for solid nights of high-quality sleep.
- If you're still in high school, aim for 8.5 to 10 hours of sleep a night. If you're over 18, 7.5 to 9 hours should be enough.
- Make sure you establish a regular bedtime. Go to sleep around the same time each night, and do something to help you wind down. You could, for example, have a cup of herbal tea and read a book before bed.
Eat right leading up to your exam.You may be tempted to binge eat on junk food due to stress. However, this is unlikely to make you feel more relaxed. Food has a direct effect on your mood, so make sure to eat high-quality foods leading up to your exam. This will reduce your overall stress.
- Avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods. These will only increase your stress levels. Instead, go for plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like fish.
- Try eating a kale salad or drinking a green smoothie before the exam to load up on nutrients.
- Avoid caffeine. Drinking coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other highly-caffeinated beverages can actually make you more anxious or nervous before an exam, which leads to poorer performance.
Exercise to reduce exam-related stress.If you exercise regularly, do not neglect your workout routine during exam time. It's okay to cut out 10 or 15 minutes from your regular routine if you're low on time, but you should not stop exercising altogether because an exam is coming up. Exercise can help regulate your mood, leading to lower overall stress.
- If you don't normally exercise, this is a good time to start. Try walking or going for a bike ride for 15 minutes a day, around 3 times a week.
- You can also exercise with others. Play a game of softball or go for a bike ride with friends.
Adopt a positive attitude about school.If you're down on yourself, you're more likely to stress out. Instead of convincing yourself you're doomed to failure, go into the exam with a positive mentality. Adopt a positive personal mantra to keep your mood up while you study.
- Think of something positive you can say to yourself when you feel stressed. For example, you could say something like, "I'm working hard, and I will succeed."
- When you feel stressed, repeat this mantra while taking deep, soothing breaths.
Have perspective regarding your exam.If you're stressed out over an exam, you may be placing too much importance on it. It's good to be conscientious of your grades, and you should care about doing well in school. However, try to keep things in perspective. One exam is not going to make or break your life. Do your best, but keep in mind even the worst case scenario will not be a disaster.
- The worst thing that can happen is you will do bad on the exam. This can be a setback for you academically, but keep in mind everyone screws up an exam at least once in their life.
- Getting a low grade on 1 exam, or even in 1 class, is unlikely to affect you much long term. Even if you don't do as well as you hoped, you can bounce back in the future.
Reducing Stress While Studying
Follow a consistent routine.If you establish a study routine you follow each day, you're more likely to stick to it. A lot of stress comes from feeling inadequately prepared. If you're studying regularly, you'll feel more prepared and therefore less stressed.
- Figure out what works best for you. If you're a morning person, study in the morning. If you focus better at night, study in the evening.
- Pick a regular place to study that's free of distractions. If your dorm room tends to be loud, for example, you can study at the library.
- Make sure to study a little each day, sticking to roughly the same routine.
Be proactive about dealing with academic problems.If you panic in the face of a problem, this will only increase your stress level. If you're stuck on a certain subject, don't start stressing out and beating yourself up. Instead, be proactive. Say to yourself, "There's still time to figure out this concept." Then, go about increasing your understanding of the subject.
- You can spend extra time studying the concept that's confusing you. You can dedicate a single study session to mastering a tricky concept.
- You can also reach out to your professors or other students for help.
- If you respond proactively to struggles, you won't feel stressed. You will feel a sense of power at your willingness to overcome difficulties.
Take breaks while studying.If your concentration does not last for a full hour, you should take 10 to 15-minute breaks throughout your study sessions. Try taking a 15 minute break every hour, for example, and see if that improves your stress level.
- Do something you enjoy during your breaks. Give yourself 15 minutes to watch television or browse Facebook, for example.
Meditate to relax yourself.You can meditate before you study or during breaks. You can also meditate before the exam to put yourself in a calm state of mind. Find a comfortable, quiet place and spend 10-15 minutes at a time being mindful of the present moment. Do your best to avoid worrying about your exam performance.
- Do an online search for an exam-specific guided meditation to help you get started.
- You could also try yoga to relax yourself and unwind.
Accept imperfections regarding your academic performance.There is no such thing as a perfect student. Keep this in mind as you study. You need to accept the fact you will struggle on occasion. Allowing yourself to be imperfect will reduce your stress over an exam.
- Loosen up your definition of success and failure. Anything less than an "A" does not mean you failed. If you shoot this high while studying, you will get angrier at yourself for perceived failures.
- Instead of focusing on a concrete outcome, like a certain grade, just try to do your best. Don't think, "I need to get an A." Instead, think, "I need to try my best and be proud of the grade I get."
Remaining Calm During the Exam
Pack everything you need the night before.Nothing will make an exam more stressful than showing up unprepared. If you start off the exam scrambling to borrow a pen, you'll go in stressed. The night before the exam, get everything you need ready.
- Prepare a bag with all the essentials. Make sure you have a pen or pencil, and anything extra you need, like a calculator. If it's a long exam, you may want to bring a bottle of water.
- You also may want to do something like lay out the clothes you'll be wearing. This can help you get ready efficiently in the morning.
Focus on only the exam.When you're in the exam room, do not let your mind wander. As soon as the exam is set down before you, focus your energy there and nowhere else.
- Avoid wondering how others are doing. Do not get caught up in the fact someone has finished before you. Keep your energies focused on the exam at hand.
- Take it 1 question at a time. Do not worry about the next question while answering the current question.
Strive to relax when you feel tense.You may tense up at certain points during the exam. During these times, do something to loosen up. Take a few deep breaths. Stretch. Close your eyes for a few seconds. Taking a few moments to relax can help you ease exam anxiety.
- You could even engage a bit of discreet meditation. Just make sure not to distract other students or spend too long meditating that you don’t have enough time to finish the exam.
Start with the easiest questions.Scan the exam before you start and look for your strong areas. Tackle these questions first. This way, you'll get a chunk of the exam done right away. You'll be feeling more confident as you move on to the other questions. This will also give you more time to focus on the difficult questions.
Keep track of time.You do not want to end up scrambling to complete the exam as time is running out. Be conscious of time as you complete the exam. Periodically glance at your watch to make sure you're not giving too much energy or focus to a single question.
- Break up the exam into sections. If it's, say, 3 pages, and you have 45 minutes to complete it, try to stick to 15 minutes per page.
Seeking Outside Support
Ask for help on a subject when you need it.There is no shame in reaching out for help if you're confused. If you're struggling with a concept, talk to your instructor while there's still time. They will probably be happy to help you better understand the subject material.
- You can ask your teacher or professor after class if they can help you with a problem you're having. You can also visit a professor during office hours or email them asking for help.
- Are there any resource centers for students on your campus? If so, visit them. If you're struggling with a math exam, for example, go to your school's math resource center and ask for help.
Vent about your exam stress to others.It's never a good idea to keep things bottled up. If you're stressed about an exam, talk to your fellow students. Open up about how you're feeling and ask them for support.
- Choose friends and family members who tend to be laid back, empathetic, and supportive. These people are more likely to listen and care.
- Avoid people who are also high stress. If you vent to someone experiencing their own exam stress, the two of you may only stress one another out more.
Learn basic study skills from your school.Take advantage of any resources provided to you. Your school may offer classes or seminars teaching basic study skills. Your school's website may also offer advice on study skills. Effective study skills can help reduce overall stress.
Consider professional counseling.If you consistently struggle with exam stress, you may have an underlying anxiety disorder. You may engage in certain thoughts and behaviors that worsen your anxiety. If you're unable to overcome exam stress on your own, seek counseling.
- If you're a university student, you may be entitled to free counseling from your college.
QuestionHow do I study for long hours and continue concentration?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to take a short break every few hours; a 10 to 15 minute break every 2 hours would be idea. During this time, walk around, eat a snack, and/or do some stretches. Also, try to drink some water; it will help you stay awake and focused.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I reduce tension during an exam when I am not getting he answer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerListen to some music before taking the exam, sleep well, and review your work before the exam starts.Thanks!
QuestionHow to do my math exam without anxiety?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBeing super-prepared will boost your confidence and lessen your anxiety, so study until you know it all. The day of the test, you just need to relax and think only positive thoughts.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I pass with good grades if my previous exams were bad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAn honest self assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is a good place to start. You will have a clearer picture of what you need to improve as the class progresses. If your previous exams weren't worth too much of your overall grade, you can probably bring your grade up to passing by the time you finish the class.Thanks!
QuestionIs it good to go out and play if I have an exam coming up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt can be. Getting your body moving can help refresh your mind after a long study session, but make sure you get enough studying done, no goofing off!Thanks!
QuestionHow can I increase my confidence level when I take an exam?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you study hard, your confidence will increase. Aim to study a little each day, and ask for help if anything confuses you. Also, have a good attitude. Try to do your best, and be happy with the outcome regardless of whether you ace the test.Thanks!
QuestionHow to manage your time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStudy a little bit each day. If you study for, say, an hour every afternoon, this is better time management than cramming last minute. Review your schedule and look for pockets of free time you can spend studying each day.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I'm getting bad marks on my exams now?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry to figure out what's going wrong and fix the problem. Are you not spending as much time studying as you used to? Allocate more time to studying. Are you not understanding the material? Ask for help from your teacher or hire a tutor. If you have no idea what the problem is, talk to your teacher or a guidance counselor. They might be able to give you some useful study tips.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I study 3 subjects in 5 days?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake a schedule and set aside time to study a each subject.Thanks!
QuestionI am studying hard before examinations, but when I enter the room, I find out that the test covers areas that I did not study for. What would be the correct manner going into the exam?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf this happens, then you must take a deep breathe and sit down, and try your best to use the information you studied to help you reason out the answers to the exam in front of you.Thanks!
How many maximum marks can be scored in betterment exams of 1st year?
- Don't worry because it's just an exam. The more you relax, the better you'll perform in the exam. Don't be nervous over the word 'exam'. Take it as a 'test'.
- Do not study last minute for an exam. You won't remember much of what you studied.
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