Preparing for and taking exams is for many, a stressful time. You can’t think straight and are daunted by the amount you have to learn. But things are probably not as bad as they seem.
Watch this video to find out six top tips to help you deal with the stress of studying and taking exams. Then test your understanding in our quiz here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/english-you-need/unit-28/session-1
Preparing for and taking exams is for many, a stressful time. You can’t think straight and are daunted by the amount you have to learn. But things are probably not as bad as they seem… take a deep breath and listen to our suggestions for dealing with exam stress….
Firstly, think about what exactly is stressing you out? It might be just one thing that you can put right – maybe it’s just vocabulary that’s worrying you, so pay more attention to revising that. It could be just lack of sleep that’s stopping you from concentrating.
Next, learn to recognise when you’re getting stressed. Take a break and talk to someone who will understand your situation – a friend, teacher or maybe your parents. Talking to someone is a great way to help you see straight.
Although working with fellow students has its benefits, don’t compare your abilities with theirs. Everyone learns in different ways and at different speeds. If you’re sure you’ve got the right revision strategy then you’ll be ok. If not, get advice.
And when you’ve been stuck behind your desk, stressing out, go and do some exercise. Nothing de-stresses the mind faster than physical activity, so make it part of your studying timetable. Fresh air will clear your head and perk you up.
And be honest with yourself. Are you setting yourself difficult goals? Be realistic – how much more revising can you do, how much more can you remember? If you’re happy you’ve worked hard enough and you’ve done your best, then don’t be hard on yourself. Once you’re in the exam, keep calm, getting into a panic will not help you think straight.
Also, you need to look after yourself. By avoiding drinking coffee or smoking, and drinking lots of water, you will feel better. Eat slow-release foods like bread, rice, pasta, fruit and veg – and above all sleep well – this will help you rest and recharge your brain. Finally, let’s hear from examiner Mark Shea about stress sometimes being a good thing…
Mark Shea, examiner
Everybody feels stress, adrenalin can help you. You will pass if you’ve done the work. And if you don’t pass, it’s not the end of the world.
So a little bit of stress can motivate us to get on with our work but there is life after exams. Things might seem intense for a while, but it won’t last forever. Good luck!