What does exam stress look like?
Some signs of stress include:
Losing touch with friends
Feeling moody and low
Having trouble making decisions
Lack of motivation to do anything
Trouble sleeping or getting out of bed
Tense muscles or headaches
Having an upset stomach or feeling sick
Fidgeting, nail biting, teeth grinding
Why do people experience exam stress?
Worry they might fail
Don't feel prepared
Want to do really well
Don’t have much time to study
Need to get a certain result
Don’t think they will do well
Find it hard to understand what they’re studying
Feel pressure from family to get good marks
Feel they need to compete with others
Have other things happening in their life
Getting ready to study
It’s never too late to set up good study habits. Here’s some helpful ideas:
Find a quiet place to study without distractions.
Set-up your study space. Make sure it’s not too cluttered and has everything you might need.
Find out as much as you can about the exam so you can prepare.
Ask your teacher if you’re unsure of what will be tested.
Learn to make ‘mind maps’ and use them to collect ideas and thoughts, use bright colours to help remember important links.
Make a plan of what you want to work on in each study session. Break it down into small tasks and work on one task at a time.
Take regular short breaks – use this time to have a drink, get something to eat or play with a pet.
Ask for help - If you’re having trouble with something you’re studying ask a teacher, friend, sibling or parent to help.
Tips to help while studying
Try these tips and tricks:
Ideas for exam day
Here’s some tips to help exam day go smoothly:
Work out what you need to take with you on exam day and organise this the night before.
Eat a good, light breakfast – this will help with energy and concentration.
Go to the toilet before the exam starts.
If you feel yourself getting worried before your exam - spend some time focussing on your breathing.
When you sit down to do your exam, take time to slow your breathing and relax.
Read through the exam paper carefully. Underline key words and instructions.
Work out how long you have for each question or section.
Aim to have time to re-read answers through and to make any changes.
Work on the questions that you find easiest first.
"Remember passing an exam is only part of the story. There’s always a second chance or another way to reach your goals"
If you’re feeling stressed about exams, you’re not alone.
Talking to someone and finding ways to cope during exam time can help.
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