tips for beating exam stress

10 tips for beating exam stress; from one student to another

Guest blog – First year student living at The Metalworks, Birmingham

I know exam season can be a stressful time for us all. So, here’s a little procrastination break for you on how I coped with the terrors of exam season and the stress that comes along with it. I thought it would also be a good idea to tell you how I prepared for my exams and avoided the unnecessary stress. I’m only in first year but I feel as though I’ve already done enough exams throughout my youth to last a lifetime. Luckily for me, I have been able to pick the brains of my law netball friends and my current boyfriend who are all in third year. So, after speaking to them and trying out methods of my own, here are a few things to help you all out.

1. Embrace it

You can’t beat what you run away from. Stress during exams isn’t going to go away, it’s just going to mount up if you try to avoid it. So, think about what tasks, topics and revision is making you feel stressed and write it down. Once you’ve got the list, prioritise and tackle the things that stress you out the most. In no time you’ll have got through your to-do list and feel a lot better.

2. Create a realistic timetable

There’s no point scheduling to do work for 16 hours in a day if you know that you will sit at your desk and be on your phone for the majority of that time. If you create a timetable which includes the days you will have off (if you know you will be unavailable), and also factors in small breaks in-between work and time to relax, then you’re more likely to stick to it and reduce the risk of running behind on revision.

3. Take breaks

You can’t work all the time and you need to give yourself some time off as a reward for all the hard work. So, schedule in some breaks and you’ll keep stress at bay and happiness on the way.

4. Have fun

Plan to do some relaxing things to ease the stress; do some of your favourite hobbies. For instance, I love playing the piano and fortunately my best friend has one in his room, so having a short break playing the piano takes my mind off work for a short time. Other things could be listening to some calming music, watching tv, going for a walk, playing some sports or catching up with your friends. Whatever makes you happy, do it.

5. Work with others

Many hands make light work, or so the Chinese proverb goes… Work in your peer groups, or with course friends if it works for you. Divide the work up between you and then go through it together at a specific time when everyone is free.

6. Talk to staff

University is a big jump from A-levels or alternatives. So, use the resources at your disposal to help make the jump. These include the staff at the university; they are experts in their field and also helpful human beings who are more than happy to offer guidance. If you want to talk to lecturers though make sure to lookup their office hours and go then, as that’s when they’ll be free.

7. Find some calming spots on campus

The grass on campus in the nice weather can be a lovely spot to relax with some friends during a revision break. Or if the sun’s shining, why not take your work outside and embrace revision in the fresh air?

8. Find the place you work most effectively in

If you find that working in your room all day means you’re more likely to take a midday nap (that turns into a couple of hours), or you find yourself getting easily distracted, then maybe take a trip to the library on campus and work from there. Sometimes I find it easier to work when people around me are also working, it motivates me to keep working.

9. The staff at your accommodation

They are all around to ensure your university life runs smoothly so if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed approach one of these helpful faces and they will be happy to talk.

10. Never give up

No one said it was going to be easy; life is hard, and if you let it, life will bring you to your knees and keep you there. But it isn’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how much you can take and keep moving forward! Follow the above to avoid exam stress and remember, never give up and good luck!

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