There’s no denying that exam revision can be a stressful time. It’s the culmination of all your hard work studying for your A levels or GCSEs and the end is in sight. 

To help you avoid the stress and overwhelm as you prepare for your exams, we have come up with a number of tips and advice. 

What is exam stress?

In simple terms, exam stress is the psychological and physiological reactions an individual experiences when preparing for exams.

If you have felt overwhelmed, anxious or stressed about upcoming exams, remember that you are not alone and there are a number of techniques to help you prepare without these negative feelings.

Why are exams so stressful?

Exams can be considered stressful for many different reasons from feeling pressured from close relations, fear of failure and more. These reasons can add a sense of unnecessary pressure when preparing for exams but it’s good to keep in mind that although exams are important, they do not completely dictate your future endeavours when it comes to further education and career paths.

Here are some tips to help you tackle exam stress and revise with ease:

  • Take control. Try to be as organised as possible. Plan a timetable for revision and make sure you’ve got a space to revise, preferably quiet with natural light. 
  • Fresh air. Making sure you get some fresh air can help wonders when you’re revising. Taking a short break to step outside, or keeping a window open are two good ways to do this.
  • Eat well. Research is emerging all of the time showing the link between mental wellbeing and food, suggesting what we should and shouldn’t eat. We’re not talking about anything you don’t already know, just sticking to a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg and keeping well hydrated should help you to stay in peak condition whilst revising for your exams.
  • Sleep well. We know it can be tempting to stay up late into the night to carry on revising but trying to maintain a routine and getting a good night’s sleep will do wonders for your concentration and general wellbeing.
  • Make time for something you love. You need to make sure to make time for you. Give yourself a break by making time for something you enjoy doing. Whether that’s reading a book, going for a walk, having a natter on the phone with a friend or playing a musical instrument.
  • Exercise. Keeping yourself in good physical condition plays a part in keeping your stress levels down. From playing a sport that you love to taking yourself for a nice walk, doing something physical can help to keep yourself calm.
  • Deep breaths. During exam revision season, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed at times, no matter how well you eat/sleep/exercise. If you do, closing your eyes and taking 10 deep breaths can often help you to reset and put things back into perspective. You can even take that a step further and try some mindfulness. Apps, such as Headspace, can help guide you through a mindfulness exercise.

We hope this reminds you of ways in which you can keep stress to a minimum while revising for your exams. Do you have any tips to share with your fellow students?

If you’re an NEC student, don’t forget that we can arrange for past papers to be marked to help with your revision. Speak to us for more information.

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