Blessed are those who don’t experience exam stress. However, that is only a small percentage of the population.
Exam stress affects a lot of us and most students have experienced feelings of rising panic before exams. Some students are able to study despite the panic, with the panic acting as a motivator to study but for some others, the panic prevents them from doing anything productive and as a result, they panic even more.
Here are 9 ways in which you can reduce exam stress and study better for examinations.
1.A good night’s sleep – There is no tonic for studying better than a good night’s sleep. Like our bodies need rest, our minds need rest too. You might hear about one or two of your classmates who are capable of pulling all-nighters and studying but that is not a good habit. All it does it decrease your ability to absorb information and retain information. Instead, during your study holidays and during the examination week, ensure that you get adequate amounts of sleep. A well-rested mind can study better and remember all that you have studied better.
2.Eat well – For some, exam stress also includes the inability to stomach food. However, food is important. If sleep is fuel for the mind, then food is fuel for the body. Food gives you energy, especially healthy food. Going hungry will make you distracted, irritable, nauseous and dizzy too. If you feel like you cannot eat full meals, then at least eat fruits and drink water and juice. Going hungry is of no help to the process of studying.
3.Realistic study-plan – You know better than anyone else how much studying you can accomplish in one day. Keeping that in a mind, make a study plan that is suited to your way of studying. Do not make over-ambitious study plans that have you scrambling to catch up. The idea behind a study plan is to carry out your studying in an orderly and methodical fashion, not to know your entire syllabus in an impossibly short period of time.
4.Take short but frequent breaks – The mind needs to recharge. It cannot constantly power through material without a break. For every hour that you study, take a short ten minute break where you do something that is not related to your studies. Take a short walk; talk to friends, family, or simply do nothing. This short period of relaxation allows you to tackle your studies with a re-charged mind.
5.Vary your subjects – If you are unable to make much headway in one subject, for example Chemistry, and then switch to another subject. There is no point in toiling away at a subject if you are not able to make much headway learning wise. Changing the subject provides for a fresh perspective.
6.Read and revise – One of the main causes of exam stress is worry about how much you know and don’t know. One way to mitigate this is to read and then revise. No matter how lazy you feel, or much you think you don’t need practice: YOU DO. Revision is important because it refreshes all that you have learnt. Not everybody who is a supercomputer and capable of remembering everything after just having read the book once. Read and revise and you will be all the better prepared for it.
7.Practice makes mostly perfect – For all the subjects that require practice because they have problems or sums or exercises, make sure that you practice them again and again, until, if someone asked you do them, you’d be able to do them with your eyes closed!
8.Don’t listen to your friends – Sometimes we tend to panic because we find out that the way we are studying vastly differs from that of our friends. Know that one person studies differently from another. And do your best to make sure that you don’t fall prey to panic mongering. There might be a classmate who goes, “I almost finished everything but I am so nervous.” Just because he/she is almost done, it does not mean that you need to be done too. As long as you are done studying by the time the examinations come around, you have no need to worry at all.
9.Positivity is the key – The key to doing anything well is a positive attitude. As cliché as it sounds, having positive thoughts gives you the confidence that you can do well. If you think that you are going to fail, then you will be besieged by negative thoughts that will completely diminish your confidence. If you can’t find it in yourself to be positive or optimistic, then be realistic. But don’t fall prey to pessimism.
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