More often than not, students find themselves in great distress around the examination period. Over the years, research has revealed that there are various ways in which you can cope with exam associated stress. Some of these ideas may sound very ordinary but have been proven to help students stay calm and prepare better.
Recognise stress symptoms
It is crucial that you recognise the signs of being under stress in order to take action. The symptoms to look out for range from loss of appetite, not sleeping well, forgetfulness, increased stomach pains and headaches among others. If you experience any of these, it may be time to be proactive about managing the situation.
Watch what you eat
Your diet plays an important role in stress management and this is no exception during exam preparation. Eating a balanced diet gets you in a good mood for studying and helps recover the energy lost during the period. Further, you should steer clear of foods that contain excess sugar as they may create mood imbalances. The brain loves good fat! Eat lots of omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel and dark leafy greens and avocados.
Stay physically active
Taking part in physical activities is a tried and tested way for students to survive exams. Exercise helps clear the mind and boosts energy levels. Therefore, make the the time to go jogging or for a kickabout with your mates when preparing for their finals.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping habits tend to go hand in hand with the level of exam stress a student experiences. It is crucial to get enough sleep to rest your brain and wake up ready to tackle the exams of the day. Make an effort to finish studying early enough so you can get at least 8 hours of sleep before waking up the following morning.
Talk to someone
Find someone to talk to concerning the fear you have and the pressure you are facing during the examination period. You should avoid keeping stress locked up inside. Instead, share your thoughts with your parents, tutors or study partner. This is guaranteed to get that heavy load off your back and will make you feel less anxious.
Organise your study environment
Look for a place that is free from distractions and choose it as your designated study spot. The library is a popular option as it sets the mood for serious studying.
Be your own person
It is important to realise that you have different abilities to those of other students. You should create a study plan that suits you and your unique way of doing things. Don't be tempted to compare yourself with others who may seem to know it all as this may increase your anxiety. You are your only competition, try and improve on your personal results each time.
All in all, the most important thing for any student to remember is that exams come and go and should not spell disaster.
Best of luck!