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Dealing with exam stress

May 2, 2023
Student writing in notebook

It’s that time of year again when exams are right around the corner and students start to feel the pressure. We know that this can be a very stressful time, so we’ve put together this blog to try and calm those nerves with some helpful tips and tricks to use throughout this upcoming exam season.

1. Eat well and stay fuelled

Food will feed your brain during exams, making sure you’re well fuelled for the day ahead will help ensure you stay focussed. There are certain foods such as nuts, figs, oatmeal, eggs and yoghurt that help improve memory retention, mental alertness and increase energy levels, but the most important thing is that you eat regularly to keep those energy levels up!

Hydration is also very important, so make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day as dehydration can negatively affect the speed at which our brains process information.

2. Make sure to rest

The stress of exams and exams themselves can use up a lot of your energy, so ensuring you get a good night’s sleep to recharge is very important. Research has shown that memory and learning are also consolidated through sleep, so getting those 8 hours will benefit you more than pulling an all-nighter to cram for your next exam!

3. Exercise

Exams require you to exercise your brain quite a lot, so give it a break and exercise your body instead! Regular exercise can increase focus and memory, as well as lowering stress and anxiety.

4. Talk to family and friends

If you’re feeling stressed and anxious about your exams it can help to talk to your family and friends about it. Your friends will also be sitting their exams and they will know exactly how you are feeling because they’ll be feeling the pressure too, so talk to each other and help support each other through this exam season.

5. Try not to dwell on the exams

We know what it’s like when you come out of an exam, everybody is discussing the paper and their answers, then that dreading feeling sets in when you realise you didn’t have the same answer as somebody else. It’s best not to dwell on the exams once you’ve sat them, you cannot go back and change your answers, all you can do is know that you did your best whatever the result may be. Instead, look forward and focus on your next exam, as that is where you can make the difference.

6. Allow room for the things you enjoy

Don’t let your exams consume your whole life, yes, they’re important, but you also need to make time to do the things you enjoy, whether that be hanging out with friends or watching your favourite TV show. Putting all your time and energy into your exams will only lead to burnout and increased levels of stress and anxiety.

While these helpful tips will not get rid of your exam worries completely, if you follow them, it just might make life that little bit easier whilst you’re sitting your exams.

Remember, it is normal to feel a little anxious about your exams, but if you find yourself really struggling do not hesitate to get in touch with our Student Wellbeing Team.