Exam stress is real.
When you’re in a University, even that annoying pop-up quiz that the professor gave once when you were absent could do well to drop your grade by a few points (thanks to hard luck).
Welcome to the world of zero excuses, zero absences, and no second chances. That’s life. That’s the University!
Thinking about a student’s situation like this, I can well imagine the amount of exam stress and pressure before a university-level exam. The last thing you want to do is fail or drop a course and waste a full-fledged six months or a year of study as well as the parent’s hard-earned money.
To ensure these do not happen while your exam is up & going, you must be well-focused & stress-free. Stress chews not just your grades but your physical & mental health too.
To avoid such loss during an exam, you should try my 6 tips on how to relieve exam stress:
1. Prepare to automatically relieve exam stress
The best way to naturally reduce the amount of stress experienced before an exam is simply by preparing for it. The formula is simple:
Generally, the students who know they have studied both hard and smart seem to be the most relaxed as compared to their peers. The contrary could be said for students who haven’t prepared well at all.
Also read: Examination Strategies: Tips & Tricks
2. Discuss it with someone
Your fellow students could also improve your stress levels when they share information they know and ask for your own interpretations of the lesson.
A peer and your own mutual feelings of stress could also reduce your anxiety by giving you the “I’m not the only one” feeling.
If you think that talking to a peer might do the opposite, then you can speak to a friend or a family member who doesn’t know anything about the exam. They could relieve your stress by offering encouraging words and telling you not to worry too much.
3. Sleep well
One of the biggest mistakes students make is cramming for their exam in the last few hours and cutting back on sleep. This leads to added stress levels because of the “fuzzy-head” effect you get from lack of sleep.
It’s best to study for your exam a day or two before (or more) in advance and make sure you have had adequate sleep before the exam day. Adequate sleep ensures proper brain functioning (which is obviously very important while taking an exam).
Also read: Top 10 ways to dominate your final exams
4. Avoid Stimulants
Trying to use stimulants before or on the exam day is a big mistake. Stimulants can contribute to increased stressed levels and anxiety by causing over-stimulation. They are best avoided right before an exam or the exam day (this includes alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine).
Also, junk food and sugary sweets should be avoided to keep energy, blood, and sugar levels steady.
5. Drink (a lot of) Water
Staying hydrated has many wonders. Above all other drinks such as soda, juice, or tea, water is the best. As mentioned earlier, soda, juice, and tea can disrupt energy levels and tea or coffee can cause over-stimulation
It is best to stick will plenty of water before and during the exam.
6. Be positive
This one should be a no-brainer. Yet, many students, although well-prepared, may experience stress simply because of negative thinking. Fear of failure can also be the cause of failure at times.
It is best to have positive thoughts, feelings, and behavior before the exam to stay motivated. Stress can block proper brain function which can lead to decreased thinking and processing ability during the exam. So, even if you know something, you will forget because the stress is clogging up your brain.