1. Remember to breathe
When you feel stress or anxiety stepping in, take a minute to close your eyes, inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of five and then repeat. This helps you to calm down your body's stress response and shift your attention back to the present moment.
When you sense stress or nervousness stepping in, take a minute to close your eyes, inhale for a count of three, then exhale for a count of five and then repeat. This helps you to calm down your body's stress response and shift your attention back to the present moment.
2. Eat, sleep and exercise well
Pulling all-nighters, surviving on a poor diet, and getting minimal amounts of movement into your day can increase symptoms of anxiety. For your body's best performance, make sure you're getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Limit your caffeine consumption and don’t drink energy drinks.
3. Set realistic goals
Setting realistic goals, whether or not you have several weeks, days or hours before your exam, helps you to put everything into perspective. Acceptance of your situation and working within the realms of what you have maximizes your productivity without the risk of burning yourself out.
4. Don't go it alone
A research paper published in Linguistics and Education saw that revising with friends is an effective study technique as it allows individuals to better soak up their very own notes. Furthermore, the emotional benefits of social support tend to include a better sense of confidence and autonomy.
5. Pace yourself through panic
Panicking before, during or even after an exam is frequent among university students. If you experience it at any point, take six deep breaths, hydrate yourself, and then go back to the problem at hand. Have in mind that there is usually a rational solution to every problem, even if you can't see it at first glance.
6. Believe in yourself
Given that you have prepared well, there should be no reason for you to worry. Therefore, when experiencing a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. For example, instead of thinking 'If I don't get at least a 9, I am a failure', think 'Whatever I get, I will be proud of myself and value how much I have already achieved'. You can do this!
Use some distracting strategies that can help you manage your stressful or anxious feelings such as using a stress ball, chewing some gum, sipping on ice water, using fidget toys such as an elastic band on your wrist .
8. If you feel like you are struggling, talk to someone
Asking for help is never shameful. When struggling, talk to friends or family about how you are feeling. Alternatively, don't be afraid to seek professional help and support.
9. Give yourself mini rewards once you achieve your study goals
Do something that relaxes you like watching a TV show, going for a run or listening to some music.
10. Leave the stress in the exam hall
There's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Exams have a beginning and an end. The stress that goes along with them should end with the exam. Once the exam is over, there's nothing more you can do about it. You should just try to relax afterwards.
Ultimately, don't lose sight that although things might seem intense right now, it won't last forever. Finding healthy and positive outlets and strategies to cope with feelings of exam stress and anxiety can help you feel more in control.
Good luck! You’ve got this!