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Exam Stress Management Tips for Students

written by: Suvo • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 4/5/2012

Exam stress can literally paralyze a student and keep them from getting the grades they have studied for. Learn some simple stress management tips to face exams confidently.

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    In spite of much debate, exams are going to stay a part of student life, professional life and personal life. If you are a student and exam stress is a matter of concern, then following simple stress management tips will help you out:

    • Plan Ahead: Prepare a study chart in such a manner that whole syllabus will be covered and you will get time to review. Follow the chart as closely as possible. Do not try to cover material too quickly as that can easily make you frustrated and forgetful. You will gain confidence once you complete the syllabus in time and confidence is the best weapon to fight exam stress.
    • Review: There are many ways you can review already studied subjects, those are: reading, writing, testing, discussing. My recommendation is to utilize your initial review period by reading, writing and discussing. Later, you should solve model questions while timing yourself. Solving questions on time is another way of building confidence.
    • Think Positive: Avoid anything that makes you think negatively, be it a discussion like, “Last year John studied 18 hours per day, yet still he could not do well," or a TV show or whatever. Negative thinking means eroding your hard gained confidence and developing exam stress. If you have a friend who is making you worry any more try to change the topic of conversation or explain to your friend negative thought patterns are not helping.
    • Yoga and Meditation: These tools help you to calm your mind and build confidence.
    • Nutrition: Eat foods rich in vitamins and protein like a salad with chicken, fruit and nuts or rice and beans with vegetables. Avoid oily and junk foods. Proper nutrition is compulsory for the brain to produce its best output. A healthy body and mind will help help your body function optimumly. Although you may be tempted to fill up on coffee or energy drinks to keep awake, have no more caffeine than you would in a normal day. Too much caffeine and sugar can make you jittery and decrease your ability to focus.
    • Sleep Well: Student should maintain a regular sleeping pattern and a minimum of seven to eight hours of sleep is mandatory. Sleeping helps your brain to regain its power.
    • Confide in Others: Talk to teachers or friends about your stress. Ask questions about material you are not sure about. The more confident you are, the less exam stress you will experience.
    • Make Notes: The benefits of preparing notes are twofold; first, it will improve your writing and secondly, notes are very useful for last-minute review.
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    Begin following these tips at the beginning of the school year to drastically reduce your stress over exams. If you happened to only have a few days to prepare many of these tips still apply. Manage your time well to fit in studying at optimum hours. Make sure you get plenty of rest and eat healthy food. Do not stay up late cramming the night before an exam. This often backfires. Before the exam begins review your notes and practice deep breathing. Good luck!