How To Beat Exam Stress And Ace Your Tests

Being a student has it ups and downs. This is the stage of our lives where we learn, make new friends, have fun and do activities that enrich not just our social life but also our mental and emotional state. Learning and doing new things are parts of this process until exam week. Most students will surely relate to this, come exam week, most students will feel that they are being beaten by a hammer or they are painted into a corner where there is no way of escape. Most students even if they deny it, usually cram before exam week or worse during exam week. It’s like a death sentence waiting to happen. If you dread the coming exam week, or sweat just thinking of the examinations as it approaches or worry that you will not be able to get the answers right, then you’re experiencing exam stress.


What Is Exam Stress?

Exam stress is defined as the uneasiness experienced before, during and after an examination. This is very common among high school and college students. Some students also stated that this experience sometimes interfere with their learning to a point that it reduces their efficiency or performance during their exams and test results are lower than what is expected.


Many students or pupils of this generation are living the exam culture. In the United States for example, the Standard Assessment Tasks or SATs have been performed starting at primary school. This exam culture will make children feel pressured all throughout their school year. Noted psychologists stated that there is a growing number of children being counseled or treated for exam stress. It can be said that  few exams are enjoyable and some students can cope with the pressure better than others. Some students thrive but some become anxious which make them feel ill, feel sick and experience difficulty in sleeping. Worst case scenarios can be panic attacks, palpitations and even worse, suicidal tendencies.


Managing  Exam Stress And Ace Your Exams


There are many ways of how you can conquer your fear or manage exam stress. Every student can apply these simple and achievable tips. Let's start:

1. You have to be organized. You can start by tidying up your study space. A neat and orderly study space will let you feel more in control and more confident. You can also make up a revision timetable to help you prioritize your tasks.


2. Be positive. If you have worked hard enough throughout the school year and did your best to prepare for the exams, you don’t need to worry too much. Stressing yourself will not help you perform better in the examination. When you're starting to think of negative thoughts, take  breaks. Have a snack, go outside and take a breather.


3. Be proactive. If you’re having a hard time understanding a certain section of the work, take the necessary steps to finding solutions. Find a tutor, ask your teacher or ask a friend who understands the subject matter.


4. Do things that can help de-stress while studying. If listening to music makes you relax while studying then do it. There are many cases where listening to your preferred music can help in concentration and can give you a push or a groove in studying. It will give you a good place where all the information that you need can go to your brain more effectively.


5. Plan your study time properly. You are setting yourself for stress and major headaches if you leave your studying too late. Plan your study schedules ahead of time  and try to keep them to about 10 minute break and 50 minute study. Your brain will be unable to manage peak concentration of an hour without any breaks in between.


6. Get enough sleep. All your hard work will not matter if you're lacking sleep. Lack of sleep will  result in poor concentration and can make you sleepy during the exam. An 8 hour sleep will refresh your mind and body plus it will clear your mind of any negative thoughts and clear enough to tackle the examinations without any issues.


7. Exercise and eat right. Exercise and a good diet help in beating stress. Don’t drink too much coffee. It may seem helpful to some extent but too much caffeine will affect your concentration. Doing any physical activity will boost your mind and body. Exercising helps in eliminating body toxins and helps you revitalize.


8. Take some time off on any social media sites. If you can turn off your computer and study using your textbooks. Spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter are not just time wasters during exam week but they are also studying distractions. Turn off your social media notifications so that you will not be tempted to go in.


9. Chill out. If you feel that you’re losing it, go out and jog or take a nap.


10. Talk to someone. If you're struggling or feeling really down, talk to someone and let them know you’re having a hard time. They can probably help you and give a the boost you need to conquer your stress.


These are just some of the proven and helpful tips that you can do to minimize or totally eliminate exam stress. In the end, exams will not matter that much in the real world.

 Image credit: Rennett Stowe on Flickr

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