I know exam stress is real because I used to be one of the many students who suffered from it. When I heard the word “exam,” my stress levels would immediately rise. It was so bad that I couldn’t sleep until after I had taken the exam. I knew that the stress wasn’t good for my health and that I had to do something about it.
I read about different ways to calm my nerves leading up to a big test and tried a variety of approaches until I found the ones that worked for me. Here are three things you can do to cope with your exam stress:
1. Start studying early
On the first day of class, we receive a syllabus, which lists all of the assignments and exam dates for the term. This allows me to start planning how I will manage my time and prepare for each exam. I save all of my materials from class – including readings and class assignments – to use as study tools. I don’t allow myself to procrastinate. The sooner I start studying, the less I need to cram before the exam, and that decreases my stress levels.
2. Find simple ways to relax
When I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I stop and use one of my personal relaxation methods, which include listening to music and exercising. I also make sure to take reasonable breaks while studying. Usually, my breaks last no longer than 30 minutes and I come back feeling refreshed and focused.
3. Take care of your health
Eating three healthy meals a day and getting a good night sleep is essential for your brain and body to function at their best. I make sure I schedule my meals because it’s easy for me to forget to eat once I start to study. I also try to get a good 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If I don’t, then I’ll try to find the time to nap during the day, usually before my study time. It’s important to take care of your health every day – not just on exam day.
Exams are stressful, but you shouldn’t let that stress take over your life. You’ll feel better if you manage your time wisely, take breaks and take care of your body by eating and sleeping well. When exam day comes, you’ll be prepared, relaxed and ready to ace the test!