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Exam Stress

Remember that some stress is normal

Stress can prevent you from doing your best.

Learn a good relaxation technique and practice it well. Try Yoga.

Get help from a counsellor if you need to.

Be realistic. Do take studying seriously and try to do your best, but don’t set yourself unrealistic goals like “600 points or I’m not happy” or “Four A1’s is what I want”. If you set the standards very high, you’re putting yourself under massive stress. Look at the results you need for what you want to do and aim for this.

If you’re having problems studying, ask for help. Talk to a teacher or other adult about it.

Don’t leave yourself without time to study. If it’s too late for that and you’re cramming, then listen to your body and rest when you need to. Otherwise you’re risking burn out.

Don’t use drugs (prescription or illegal) to help you stay awake or alert for study and course work. It’s not healthy and in the long run your work will suffer.

Don’t panic before the exam. Stay away from anyone who is stressing loudly or revising frantically, they’ll only make you feel nervous too.

Take study breaks, get some fresh air and some exercise: apart from helping you to relax it’s also good for the brain. Try to get enough sleep too.

Practice old exam papers as if they were the real thing and time yourself so that you can complete the papers within the allotted time.

Don’t overdo the caffeine (especially energy drinks or caffeine tablets) – it can cause heart palpitations and panic attacks.

Eat well (especially complex carbohydrates), sleep well and don’t use alcohol to relax, as it interferes with sleep (deep sleep that is refreshing).

Try to keep things in perspective. Grades are not a measure of your value as a human being, nor do they measure intelligence or creativity.