Top Tips to Deal with Exam Stress

ID-100152582It’s a well-known fact that the majority of people hate exams – whether you’re a student or not. It’s also a well-known fact that we tend to avoid revising for said exams and by doing so we end up stressed and wishing we’d have paid more attention in lectures. Then the realisation kicks in about not making enough revision notes because a measly page of half-hearted notes isn’t enough to get you through a 2 hour exam.

Here are 5 top tips to help you avoid being stressed about your exams.

 Start early:

 We say this every year when we have exams coming: “I’m going to start revising early this year.” Yet a month before the exam we find ourselves panicking because we’ve done absolutely no revision whatsoever and have no idea what the exam is even about. To avoid this, start making your spider diagrams – that will soon become your new wallpaper – well in advance. As students, we’ve developed a bad habit of procrastinating even simple tasks such as putting spaghetti hoops into a bowl once we’ve heated them up in a pan. Eat as many portions of spaghetti hoops in the still hot pan as you want, but when it comes to revision find the energy to get up and make a colourful revision poster.

 Be organised:

Create a revision plan. Or if you’re not the sort of person that keeps to times, designate a certain topic/area of the module you need to revise to a certain day. We all have different times we are more productive and motivated, take advantage of the time you’re motivated and do as much revision as possible – but don’t overdo it. If you try doing too much then you won’t remember any of it and it will have all been a waste.

Find ways to make it fun:

Revision doesn’t have to be boring. Just reading blocks of scrawl we call our lecture notes and somehow putting them into a revision poster isn’t always the best way to do it. Get a group of friends together and figure out ways to make it fun. Invest silly games, do things that will make you remember the information.

 Tutors not textbooks:

When you’re reading through your lecture notes and you realise they actually make no sense whatsoever, go to your tutor. Don’t try taking it upon yourself to go to the library and read a long paragraph that goes the long way around when explaining what you want to know. If you go to your tutor they will be able to explain it to you in a way that you understand and will mean you will get less stressed trying to figure out every other word that the textbook says. Textbooks are sometimes too academic for their own good, so instead of simply saying “the chicken crossed the road,” textbooks tend to say things like “the subspecies of the Red Junglefowl navigated itself across a river of tarmac.” No one has time for that.

Sometimes it’s okay to not be thorough:

If your exam involves a lot of topics that you need to revise, you don’t have to know every single thing about every single topic. If you have talked to your tutor about it and it’s possible, just learn the basics, i.e. key dates, people and anything else that is relevant. You don’t need to know the exact date and time that Albert Einstein invented gravity to understand how it works.

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Rachel Robertson

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