How to manage the stresses of exams

In the spirit of Mental Health Month, we at Charlie have prepared some tips to help you manage your stress levels during exams.

Preparing and sitting through exams certainly isn’t the most enjoyable experience. However, by implementing some strategies ahead of exams you’ll know you’ve set yourself up for success.

Here are a few things you can do to get the best out of your exams.

Put a plan in place

Prepare a plan and set some goals to aim for before and throughout the exam period. Try to keep your plan balanced. Set aside time for family, friends and leisure as well as study. That way it will be easier to stick to.

Remember to use time to your advantage and not wait until the very last minute. Cramming usually isn’t the best way to remember things.

Additionally, create a space to study where you are most comfortable. This will likely be a quiet space with good lighting. Make sure it’s organised and free from distractions – television and social media can wait! To find out more about setting up the perfect study space for you, check out our previous blog.

Look after yourself

Self care is especially important when you are under a lot of stress. Making sure you are mentally and physically well is crucial for you to be able to commit the energy into anything you want to accomplish.

Away from your studies, make time for things you enjoy so you can unwind. This may include sport, spending time with friends and family, and partaking in any of your hobbies.

Finally, eat well and get lots of exercise. You might be surprised by what nutritious food and plenty of fresh air can do for your mood and productivity.

Preparing for the exam

Here are a few steps of you to succeed in absorbing as much information as possible:

  • Try to read and write everything a number of times to commit the information to memory.
  • If possible, find some past exams for you to practice on. You can then mark it yourself to see where you can improve.
  • Study your way. Find a study method that works for you, whether that be visual, audio or verbal.
  • Write your notes in a way that will help you remember the information. This could be through coloured pens, highlighters or the use of entirely colour-coded topics. If you use colours throughout your notes, you might be able to recall that colour during an exam to help you remember the information you need. For more, check out our blog on good note taking.

Feel confident in your online environment

Some of you might be feeling added stress because our exams are online. Not knowing how to use the test software or systems can make you feel uneasy. However, that doesn’t need to be the case.

The Online Study Team are hosting online exam workshops to familiarise students with the online exam environment and the different exam types. They’ll also let you know what to do if you have any technical issues. You can register for these workshops from your Student Portal.

Most importantly, whatever your result is, please know it is not the be-all and end-all. There are always opportunities after exams regardless of how well you do.

Study smart and good luck!