It is normal for students to experience stress and anxiety at exam time and most students do experience some level of stress at this time. Stress can hinder test performance, it is very important for students to try and keep stress levels low. We have some tips to help you do this:
Sleep – It is very important that you do not stay up all night trying to study the night before an exam. Without adequate sleep you will not be able to concentrate in the exam and also it will cause you to tire out very early on in the exams when you need to keep energy levels high for the entirety of your exams not just the first few. 7-9 hours sleep is recommended, students should not be getting less than 6 hours the night before an exam.
Breaks – Breaks from study are essential to clear your mind. Spend time with your friends or watch a movie, whatever will take your mind of study and exams for an hour or two.
Exercise – Exercise will help clear your mind. A walk, run or swim in the fresh air will leave you feeling great before and after exams.
Nutrition – Eat well during your exams. Good health food will help keep you and your mind alert during the exams. It is also very important that you eat regularly during your exams, make sure you get in your 3 meals a day. It is not recommended your substitute meal time for a few minutes extra study.
Caffeine – It is very tempting to increase your intake of coffee and energy drinks at exam time. If possible students should try and limit their caffeine intake.
Laugh – Laughter has proven to reduce stress. So whatever makes you laugh – do it!
Breathing – When people are stressed they often have tendency to take shallow breaths. It is important to take deep breaths especially before and during an exam. Deep breaths allow more oxygen to the body and brain.
Think Positively – Believe in yourself. Try not to analyse exams after you have done them.
Talk – Talk to your friends, family and teachers about how you are feeling. If you are finding the exams very stressful let someone know and they can help you.
If you panic during the exam
Try and regain control.
Relax take slow deep breaths.
Take the paper step-by-step. Look at what you can do, not at what you cannot.
Some stress and anxiety is normal in an exam and usually students are able to regain control themselves. If during the exam you feel like you are getting overly anxious and are unable to continue alert the supervisor and tell them how you are feeling. Special arrangements can be made for students who find themselves in distress during the exam. Remember everyone in the centre is there to help you so if you need help or someone to talk to ask for it.