Monday, 11 May 2015

Dealing with Exam Stress

Exams are blooming stressful! Essentially, everything you've learnt over years of studying and homework and classes etc. all comes down to 1 exam- the results of which, for most people, determine a heck of a lot regarding their future. That shit's scary- and stress is inevitable. I can't take that stress away from you, and in all honesty, I don't really know how to cope with it myself, but what I can do is offer advice that helps ease it a little...

First thing's first, best way to relieve stress- revise! If you're one of those people who walks into an exam room having done next to no revision, leaves complaining it was too difficult and gets annoyed with everyone but yourself- close this page now. I have no sympathy for you and you totally deserve a U (foreign readers: basically so crap it's not even worth a grade). However for those of you who actually bother to put in the time and effort, here are some tips for you:

Eat! Never enter an exam room on an empty stomach- even if you think you'll throw it all back up afterwards. I personally enjoy to bosh a nice sausage sandwich, washed down with 3 cups of tea and orange juice. But, I also understand that's not really for everyone. Fruit and yogurt's a great option or for something a bit stodgier top up with cereal AND toast- go ahead, treat yourself! You deserve it!

Don't you even try and revise the morning of the exam- I refuse to revise after about 8pm the night before because, lets face it, if you don't know it by then, are you really going to know it at all? It'll just stress you out more and totally isn't worth it! Maybe you'll learn one more definition that has a 1% chance of coming up in your exam- but you'll also get yourself a whole load of anxiety and a sleepless night

Layer up! This might just be me being fussy, but my temperature regulation in exams is an absolute mess. One minute I'm sweating and my head is pounding, the next I'm shivering whilst my contact lenses frost over. With the unpredictable British temperature, it's best to just wear multiple layers that you can remove as you go along. During my mocks, I started one exam in a fur coat and finished it in a cami top... But I was comfortable the entire way through

Lastly, a little tip for dealing with the mini, 2 minutes before exam panic attack/wave of anxiety. To those who don't experience this- it's going to sound odd, but I'm writing it for the benefit of those who do suffer with this because I do think it will genuinely help. When you reach the point where you're physically shaking and it's becoming increasingly difficult to control your breathing, inhale and tense every single muscle in your body, as tight as you can. Even your bum cheeks and eye muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, and slowly exhale, and relax all your muscles. Really sink back into your chair. It won't totally cure your anxiety, but it'll certainly help take the edge off

Good luck in all your exams- you'll do absolutely amazingly and if you don't, there'll always be another alternative career route

Cheerio! Xxx

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