6 tips to reduce stress during the exam period

For most students, November means only one thing, final exams.

As the semester comes to an end, assignment deadlines and examination dates quickly creep up on us.

While some students feel relieved knowing the semester is almost over, others may feel anxiety and stress at the thought of their upcoming exams. Below are six study tips to help you prepare for your upcoming exams and help relieve your pre-exam anxiety.

  1. Organise your time
    Ensure to write your exam dates on a calendar and double check the time and venue of your exam. Make sure your calendar is placed in a spot where you can refer to it every day. This way your upcoming exams won’t sneak up on you. Mark in your calendar what you intend to study and when on each day to help plan your study time effectively.
  2. Take regular study breaks
    While cramming your study in on one day may appear an attractive study approach, it often results in less retainment of studied materials, poor focus and a loss of motivation. When your brain is working, it is important to take regular study breaks and to ensure your study is broken up into frequent small sessions. After 45-50 minutes, it is suggested to take a study break to improve your focus and concentration and ensure that new information is assimilated.
  3. Look after your mind and body
    During examination period, it’s not uncommon for you to feel extremely stressed which can take a toll on your mind and body. It is therefore important to ensure that you are maintaining a well-balanced nutritious diet and engaging in regular exercise. This will help you feel motivated, energetic and focused during your exam period. Recent research has also suggested that 20 minutes of exercise before an exam can improve performance.
  4. Teach what you have learned
    Try teaching what you have learned to a friend or another student. This will really test whether you understand the content you have been studying and will also help you identify areas that you may need to go over.
  5. Make your study space portable
    Recent research suggests that information retention improves when you vary the places you study. Don’t get stuck studying in your room for the whole exam period. Try taking your study material to the park, a different room in your house or the library.
  6. Don’t stay up all night studying
    While it is tempting to stay up late the night before your exam, it is imperative to get adequate sleep. When you sleep, your brain assimilates the information you have studied.

    It is completely normal to feel anxious and stressed during your exam period. However, if this stress is negatively impacting other areas of your life, such as sleep or your happiness, you may find it useful to speak to someone about strategies to reduce the influence of stress and anxiety in your life. Call Baypsych Consultants (07) 3488 0483 or email us baypsych@bigpondnet.au to make an appointment with one of our psychologists.

 

 

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