Examinations are often the main cause of stress for most students. However, stress can be managed when you start working on yourself and your habits. Here are 10 tips to overcome examination stress.
1.Prepare ahead of time for the test
A lot of stress is caused when you cram in the last minute before the exams. This can be easily avoided if you prepare ahead of time for examinations. You can achieve this by creating a doable weekly schedule for studying. When you manage your time right, half the battle over stress is won.
2. Take notes in class
When you are unable to remember all that you learn in class before the examinations, it will give you unnecessary stress. This is where taking notes as and when your teacher teaches a topic in the class helps. Referring to your notes on a weekly basis will help you transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory and do better in examinations.
3. Choose your study spot wisely
Figure out things that make you feel relaxed and allow you to be comfortable enough to get ready for the examination. Make sure that your study spot at home is free of clutter, has enough light, and has minimal noise. The place where you study must be free of all stressful elements. Alternatively, you can choose to study in a quiet library or a quaint coffee shop for a change of scene.
4. Take breaks
It is not humanly possible to concentrate on something without taking breaks. Do not stress yourself by studying for long periods, as it is counterproductive. So please, by all means, take frequent breaks. For every 2 hours of studying, you can take a 20-minute break to refresh yourself. During your break, make sure that you stretch your neck, arms and legs a bit.
5. Stay hydrated, eat healthy and exercise
When you don’t drink water and not eat healthy food, you will become lethargic. Lethargy leads to procrastination, which in turn leads to stressful last-minute preparations for examinations. To avoid this, drink at least 4 to 5 litres of water every day. When it comes to your food, try eating more fruits, vegetables, unprocessed food grains and nuts. Keep the consumption of sugar and heavily processed foods to a minimum.
6. Exercise and get enough sleep
Enough sleep and regular exercise are paramount to your health on any given day. However, as examination dates are nearing, you must pay more attention to these two all the more. Why so? Not sleeping for 8 hours daily and exercising 3 to 5 times a week contribute to feelings of fatigue, stress, and anxiety. And you don’t want these negative feelings before your big test.
7. Avoid stressed out people before examinations
The negative emotion of stressfulness is very contagious. People who are stressed out will make you feel anxious and stressful, too. While it may not be entirely possible to avoid people who are stressed, you can limit your exposure to them before your examinations.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Barack Obama once said, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and then allows you to learn something new.” So, if you need any kind of help or assistance for your examinations, don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends. Not doing so will only pile up stress for you.
9. Have an overall positive outlook
Adapting a positive mentality will take you places in life. While preparing for your examinations, be positive. If you think that examinations are just plain gloom and doom, you are likely to be stressed when they are nearing. Come up with a personal positivity slogan that you can repeat each day to lift your mood.
10. See the big picture
Yes, examinations and preparing well for them are important. But in the grand scheme of things, you are not your examinations. You are you. Regardless of the outcomes of the examinations, life will go on. Having that in mind, don’t forget to enjoy your life and breathe.
In the end, remember this old Chinese proverb: “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”