That all too familiar sensation of a churning stomach signalling the arrival of the exam season. While some may argue that a dash of anxiety and pressure can prove beneficial during exams, scientific evidence suggests the contrary.
Stress triggers our brains to release elevated levels of cortisol, which can muddle our thinking process and obstruct rational thoughts. As a result, maintaining a serene, composed, and cool demeanour throughout the exam period becomes crucial.
Embark on the journey with practical steps designed to alleviate the distress associated with exams and their unpleasant symptoms. These tips will boost your productivity and enhance your likelihood of acing your exams with flying colours.
Prioritise Your Time
Before you are engulfed by the exam season, ascertain what needs to be revised for each examination and calculate how much in advance you need to commence your revision to cover all necessary topics. Subsequently, devise a study timetable, dissecting the subject matter you intend to tackle daily. Be pragmatic when determining how much you can study each day while allocating time slots. Schedule to tackle more challenging topics early in your revision phase so that you can dedicate more time to them.
Progress through your timetable, ticking off topics as you gain mastery over them. A systematic study plan will help make the vast amount of material you need to revise seem less overwhelming and ensure you don’t inadvertently overlook a key topic.
Set a Plan for Exams
As the examination period inches closer, it’s time to initiate the process of creating a study strategy. Construct a timetable outlining the remaining study days, leading up to the final day of exams. Distribute your study materials across this timetable, allotting an appropriate time slot for each subject based on its perceived difficulty level.
There are instances when you might not adhere strictly to the plan for various reasons. However, it’s crucial to avoid spiralling into a cycle of frustration and feelings of defeat. These occurrences are quite common. Instead, make slight adjustments to your plan as necessary, and continue your studies with the same vigour and determination.
Get Enough Rest
It’s imperative to ensure ample rest before any examination so that we can approach the test with a lucid mind, rather than from a standpoint of sheer exhaustion. Students often compromise on their sleep, trading it for another hour of study or work. However, this habit eventually hampers our concentration capacity the following day, leading to a relentless cycle of staying up late to finish work due to depleted daytime energy.
The stress levels also heighten as a consequence of inadequate sleep, the impact of which may intensify during the exam season. Students ought to strive for a minimum of seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep before any significant exam! This practice will unquestionably enhance your ability to grasp exam questions, alleviating your stress levels during the exams.
Ask for Help
When you’re feeling bewildered or unable to grasp certain concepts, the most effective strategy is to communicate your concerns. Engage with your instructors, companions, or parents about your study strategies.
Don’t hesitate to query or request help from your teacher or mentor; they’re always ready to lend a hand. Furthermore, friends can contribute significantly in these circumstances. Often, we find it easier to comprehend our friends’ explanations than those of teachers. Seek a friend who can provide academic support and help you manage the pressures of exams.
Recognise Your Learning Style
Every individual has a unique study method, and what proves successful for your friend may not yield the same results for you. An effective strategy to reduce your exam stress is to adapt your revision techniques to align with your learning style.
Some people study best in groups, discussing the material and testing each other’s understanding. Others might feel nervous when studying with others and prefer to go through the course content alone. The range of study methods is infinite, from using growth mindset quotes, revisiting lectures, to undertaking practice exams. Once you’ve identified the best strategies for you, continue to use them to make the most of your time.
Manage Your Anxiety During Moments of Panic
Many university students face the common issue of panic attacks during the exam period. It can occur before, during, or even after an exam. However, there’s a prime strategy to help you navigate through this. If you are in this situation, respond by drawing six deep breaths. This simple act can help soothe your mind and body. Hydration is another crucial element; it maintains physical health and sharpens mental focus.
Once you’ve done these, return to the task causing your distress. Try to dissect it into smaller, more digestible sections rather than treating it as a massive problem. This approach makes the task less intimidating and more manageable.
Remember, every challenge harbors a sensible solution. Initially, it might not be glaringly obvious, but you’ll discover it with patience. Effectively managing your anxiety during such moments of panic is the key to braving the stress of the exam season.
Exam season can feel like a non-stop roller coaster of emotions. However, with the right mindset, you can use this as an opportunity to find success and come out feeling empowered. It can be a time of personal growth, and challenge yourself to grab it by the horns and show what you’re made of.