Exam Pressure

Exam Pressure

As examination time approaches you will be feeling the pressure of exams, it’s not surprising that you are stressing with everyone from your teachers to your grandparents putting pressure on you to succeed. You may find that manageable stress can work in your favour, but you have to ensure you manage it first.

If you are feeling anxious you may want to talk to your teacher or friends, often a small positive chat will provide you with the boost to attack your test with more positivity. Small sessions of talking will also provide a break from over-studying. One hour of solid calm study will be better for you than three or four hours of stressful study.

Most importantly the idea is to be organised, otherwise you will find that you will run out of time or not have enough time as you were procrastinating, playing online games or cleaning your room. Set out a timetable, include all the things you have to do and attach an appropriate time limit to them. Include walking the dog to having a shower to studying and watching your favourite television show. If you place this timetable on your door and follow it closely you will find you have more time to study without missing out on watching your favourite television show or having your half an hour to play on your favourite website.

When you do study make sure you are not sitting in front of the television and are in a quiet environment, clean the desk or table of distractions and if you only study successfully when alone, only choose to study alone.

It is important to take breaks; this will mean you won’t burn out. If you feel at any stage that you are losing concentration take a break, even a quick walk to the kitchen for a drink is a break, if you do this you will find that you come back and can approach the task refreshed.

Don’t forget your friends, they are often feeling the same way you’re, take an hour lunch break together, grab an ice-cream or warm drink together and discuss your worries and study tips. This is a supportive and great way to discuss subjects whilst alleviating stress and worry as you are no longer keeping things bottled up.

If you don’t understand something that you need to revise ensure you speak to someone who can explain it to you correctly. Ensure that you leave plenty of time to revise, spend the appropriate time on each subject and section. If you know you are good at one thing but struggle with another choose to spend more time on the one you struggle at than the one you already know well.

If you have to remember certain equations or stats or even quotations write them on large pieces of paper and stick them in the shower or on the back of the toilet door, this way you can’t help but read them constantly. If you make yourself up revision sheets read them before bed or early in the morning, especially if you won’t be able to study much during the day.

Use subheadings on your sheets so you know what you are studying and can focus on only some sections if you need to. There are lots of revise guide books suited to all different subjects, these have question and answer sections and fun crossword puzzles. Mix up your study so you don’t get bored with it and this way you will study for longer.

If you feel prepared, as you have given a lot of time to study you are less like to stress at the actual exam. Those who are prepared will be able to confidently sit the exam and will do better than those who didn’t study and on the day are stressing out.

Although coffee and chocolate may seem like a good idea at the time, it isn’t, it only provides small bursts of energy and the hype will mean you actually think less clearly. Eat healthy and regularly, your brain will benefit from the nutrients. If you feel like a coffee, try a herbal tea, a green or peppermint tea is warming and soothing without containing that huge burst of caffeine.

If you are having trouble maintaining regular sleep patterns during exams and study try a quick run or jog before going to bed. This will help clear your body and mind and hopefully you will be more likely to sleep.

Ensure before your exam you are prepared; check that you have spare batteries for your calculator and that it works. Have working pens and spare pens, pencils and erasers. If you have that prepared then you are less likely to be stressing about that.

If you walk into your exam and feel stressed or panicked the quickest way to eliminate these feelings is to close your eyes and take several long and deep breaths to calm yourself. If you think you can pep-talk yourself by repeating things like “I can do it”, “I am calm and relaxed”, “I will pass this exam” and “I am prepared”.

Stress may cause you to forget answers to questions, once you begin the exam, don’t panic as this will make it worse. The best thing is to continue deep breathing. If you can’t remember the answer to one question, move along, don’t stay stuck, wasting your time, on a question when you could be answering ones you do know.

You are given reading time to read through the exam. Do not pick up a pen in this time. When you are under the clock you may misread the questions, so use reading time and ensure you read all question slowly and correctly.

Keep an eye on the marks allocated for the certain questions, those that are higher marks require more detail in the answer. Try and provide a point per mark, that way you know you have covered the answer.

After the exams make sure you don’t worry too much over your questions and answers or criticise yourself. Your own self assessment is often far too harsh.

Believe in yourself, you wouldn’t have completed your assignments or even began the subject if you didn’t have the ability to do it. Remember exams seem important now but in the long scheme of your life they are not that important, keep in mind that you don’t have to be the best, just do your best.


 

 
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