Managing Exam Stress

Managing Exam Stress

We have now entered exam season which can be a time full of different emotions, so here are 10 top tips to help you navigate this time...

1) Self-Care is Important – During exam time, it can feel like there is a lot to do but looking after yourself is essential. Making sure that you keep a good sleep routine, eating a healthy diet, getting fresh air, and keeping in contact with friends are all important! Being kind to yourself during this time is important. Why not look at our self-care diagram to do a quick check-in.

2) Build in Rewards! As you revise, build in those little rewards that help keep you motivated. Maybe after 25 minutes of revision, give yourself a 5-minute break and listen to your favourite song. Make sure you keep building in those things that bring you joy!

3) Prioritise Your Time – The Eisenhower matrix is a helpful tool that I have been using a lot recently with those preparing for exams. This tool is about prioritising what is important and scheduling what can wait, enabling you to make sure that you are spending your time on the things that are a priority.

4) Build in Breaks! Make sure that when you are revising, you build in breaks. Your brain can only take in so much information. Psychologists say we can only concentrate for around 30-45 minutes. So make sure you build in those breaks and get up from where you are studying. A helpful technique can be Pomodoro, breaking it down into 25-minute chunks.

5) Read the Question Carefully! I learnt this the hard way! When I was sitting for my A level psychology exam, I read the essay question wrong. I wrote a whole essay on the physiological effects rather than the psychological! Make sure that you take time to read the question carefully, underlining or highlighting keywords.

6) Feeling Nervous…? Feeling nervous before an exam is normal and ok! It shows that it is important to us and you want to do well. One great way to manage these nerves is to take deep breaths or ground yourself. Why not check out some grounding and breathing techniques from young minds.

7) Recognise what is within your control and what is out of your control. Recognising this can help you focus your time and energy on the things in your control. For example, you can’t control the exact questions that are going to be on the exam paper, but you can prepare for it. If you want to learn more you can check out our short video which explains the circle of control activity.

8) Stay Connected! It is essential to stay connected to those around you during the exam period and reach out to support and encourage one another. If you are struggling, reach out to those around you! We are always here at Phase, so don’t be afraid to contact us @phasehitchin on social media.

9) Don't Compare Yourself - It can be easy to fall into the trap of comparison. However, comparing how others are revising, how much they are doing, or afterwards discussing the paper and comparing the answers that you put can be unhelpful, so focus on what works for you and doing your best.

10) Your Results Don’t Define Your Value – you are more than a grade on a piece of paper, so make sure you are kind to yourself.

We also have a short video avaliable talking more about manage exam stress so why not check it out here!

We wish you all the best in your exams and please do reach out to us @phase hitchin if you need someone to talk too during this exam time.

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