Tips To Help You Cope With Exam Stress

Exams can be a stressful time for a student. There is so much to learn and remember, it’s no wonder that most students become stressed and don’t know how to cope with the overwhelming feelings they have before exams. However, there are things you can do to help you cope with exam stress and to perform your best on your big exam day. Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you are feeling stressed!

Plan your time

It is imperative to have a plan for studying before exams so you don’t end up cramming everything in at the last minute. Create a study schedule and stick to it, taking breaks when you need to. Depending on the importance and length of the exam, this could mean planning out your time for many months in advance, a few weeks or just a few days. Creating a schedule and adding it to a planner will help you stay on track.

Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination can lead to last-minute cramming, which is going to increase your stress levels. Start studying early after planning your time and you can avoid procrastinating which will reduce exam stress.

Get enough rest

Sleep is crucial for your brain to function at its best. Make sure you get enough rest before your exam, and try to avoid staying up late studying the night before. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule will allow your body and brain to get the rest it needs and help you to function at your best.

Take practice exams

Taking practice exams can help you get familiar with the exam format and reduce anxiety on the day of the actual exam. Often the practice exams will be a similar length of time with extremely similar questions which will help you familiarize yourself with the exam you are about to take.

Use study aids

Study aids such as flashcards, notes you’ve taken yourself, and diagrams can all help you learn and remember the information you will need during your exam. You can use these study aids like these to help you study more efficiently and reduce your stress levels.

Celebrate small victories

Celebrating small accomplishments can help boost your confidence and reduce stress levels associated with your exam. Take a moment to acknowledge what you have been accomplishing and celebrate your progress every step of the way.

Eat healthy

Taking care of your body from the inside is just as important as studying for an exam. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein can help improve your brain function and concentration. You will want to avoid sugary snacks and junk food, foods such as these can make you feel sluggish and tired. A healthy well balanced meal before your exam will give your brain and body healthy fuel.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated every day will lead to a healthy life and also help your body and mind before an exam. Drinking plenty of water can help keep you alert and focused. Bring a water bottle to your exam and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day too.


Exercise can help you to reduce stress levels and improve your mood. This doesn’t have to mean lengthy cardio or lifting weights at the gym. Even a short walk or some stretching can help you feel better and more focused.

Take breaks

Studying is important but so is giving your brain time to relax during study sessions. Don’t try to study for hours on end without taking a break. You can take short breaks to do some stretching, get some fresh air outdoors, or do something you enjoy that helps you to relax.

Avoid distractions

Our daily lives are filled with constant distractions like our phones and television. It’s important to focus on your studies and avoid distractions like social media or TV. Turn off your phone or put it on silent to avoid interruptions. Make sure the television is turned off as well. 

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation techniques can benefit us in our everyday life as well as before exams. Deep breathing, meditation, and visualization can all help reduce stress and anxiety. Try practicing these techniques before your exam to help calm your nerves. A short and calm yoga session can help you incorporate all three of these relaxation techniques while also getting in some light exercise. There are many routes to explore when trying to cope with exam stress.

Take care of your mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health especially while you are preparing for a big exam. You can take care of your mental health by practicing self-care, getting plenty of sleep, and talking to a therapist if you feel it is necessary.

Get support

Talk to your friends and family for support during this time. They can help you stay positive and provide encouragement. Study groups are also great for support from others that are going to take the same exam as you. A study group can provide support while also helping you stay on track with your study schedule.

Be positive

Try to stay positive and avoid negative thoughts. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and don’t let fear or anxiety hold you back. Separate yourself from individuals that may bring negativity into your life while you prepare for your exams. 

Don’t compare yourself to others

Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to focus on your own progress rather than comparing yourself to others.

Exam stress is a common experience for students at all levels of schooling but it doesn’t have to control your life. You can simply follow these tips to help. Basic guidelines and daily practices can help you reduce stress and perform your best on your exams no matter if those exams are big or small. Remember to take care of yourself and never be afraid to seek support if and when you need it. Good luck!

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