Exam periods are stressful, intensive and bring out a lot of anxiety for many. The stress and worrying over the exam can easily take over the focus of the actual studying and make the 8 recommended hours of sleep far less. However, exams will happen several times during your study time, so you better learn how to deal with the stress. Here are some tips that hopefully could help you calm your nerves!
Planning and scheduling are crucial to maintain calm. A tip is to have a schedule that sets everyday goals – milestones, that helps you divide the work into smaller pieces, which will feel like a reduction in workload. This is a helpful guide to make sure you have time to learn everything but also for you to relax when the daily goals are reached.
Remember that it is just an exam. The beauty of university is that you are able to retake as many exams you need until you finally pass. Think realistic, what is the worst-case scenario if this exam does not go as planned? Short term, you may have to do it all again, which kind of sucks but think about it, what is a badly written exam in a hundred years? I am pretty confident in stating that one bad grade will not ruin your chances of fulfilling whatever career path you might strive to achieve. Remember that there is more to life than having flawless grades. An employer will look at your personality, previous jobs, your ability to work in teams etc – qualities that are at least as important as good grades.
If you have to worry – worry!
If you still can’t let go of the worrying-feeling, psychologist suggests that you set a time limit for your worrying, during that time you have full focus on your worries. For example, fifteen minutes in the morning. This way, you are allowed to track and connect to your feelings but still be able to focus on other things the rest of the day.
Study! And do it right
May seem obvious, but sometimes people (including myself) tend to persuade that “I have done my best”, when it isn’t really the case. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you have done enough. In many cases the stress is based upon the feeling of being unprepared and the regret that you did not start earlier. Hopefully, after at least 12 years in school you should know your way of learning. If you are unable to study in groups and rather do it by yourself, study alone! If you study better at the library than in your room, study at the library! Don’t waste the precious time before the exam working without any results.
Be kind to yourself
You experience anxiety before an exam proves that you feel pressure to perform, a sort of performance anxiety. It is necessary, to some extent, to motivate yourself to do the work. Nevertheless, don’t have to high expectations and be kind to yourself. Exam periods often requires hard work and often takes a lot of you. Don’t let the pressure of achieving the highest result break you. Be proud that you are trying and accept that things won’t always go your way.
Letting go of an examination or project, that has taken up the majority of your time the past days, can be harder than expected. However, when the exam is written and done, despite how it went, you have to let go. There is nothing left to do that could change the outcome. Be proud of yourself for getting through this period and look ahead!
PLEASE REMEMBER, you have gotten your way all the way here, so you have surely done something right in the past.