Exams can usually make or break a class or course’s final grade. Peer pressure, high expectations from family and school or work problems can trigger stress during exams and finals.
But just because the stakes are high during exams does not mean that you have to get overwhelmed and paralyzed by fear. It’s really okay to feel stressed during exams because it can also help you to perform well. With the following tips, you’ll know how to effectively cope with exam-time stress.
The secret to passing your exams in a calm manner is time management and organization. Both can help you avoid all the confusion and rush that accompanies finals or exam periods. Having a planner, all course syllabi and lecture notes can help you study and prepare with less stress. Staying organized will also help you to get everything finished on-time without counterproductive cramming.
Have a Timetable
One of the main reasons why most students feel tired and stressed during exam times is because they aren’t good at time management. As exams approach, set aside enough time to study or to write your papers.
Don’t leave everything for the end and then be forced to cram; this will usually lead to fatigue, which is detrimental to you successfully passing your exams. Instead, have a full but flexible timetable that accounts for rest time and other important activities. And give yourself more time for subjects you struggle in.
Just because you’re busy studying for your exams doesn’t mean that you should forget about physical activity. A light jog or even a 30-minute walk can stimulate blood flow to your brain, which will help you to study better.
Get Enough Sleep
Worry, fear, anxiety and restlessness often increase when you’re tired. If you feel any of these, be sure to get a good night’s sleep or a nap between long study periods. Try to unwind before sleep by cutting down on stimulants, like caffeine, or meditate before sleeping to relax and ease any anxiety that will prevent you from restful sleep.
Learn to De-stress
If you feel like you’ve been studying too long and need to refresh yourself, there are several things you can try. Standing up, stretching and massaging pressure points on your shoulders, head and jaw can provide instant relief.
While many students famously indulge in carbs and junk food during finals, it’s more important to pay close attention to your nutrition at this time than at any other. Food is fuel for your body and if your food isn’t nutrient-rich, you can be left feeling tired, cranky, hungry and less energized. To avoid this, eat a healthy breakfast and snacks, like carrot sticks or nuts, throughout the day during finals.
Alex is a writer at Best Essays. He helps other students with their education.
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Ed: Sara Crolick/Kate Bartolotta