Coping with pre-and post exam stress – OurWarwick

Coping with pre-and post exam stress

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With Term 3 just around the corner, I can say that we are all stuck in the same boat. Exam pressure has started to take its toll and caused a few sleepless nights as well as panic attacks. For the ones that have managed to stay sane (kudos to you guys) and for the ones that are completely losing it (don’t worry you’re not alone there), here are a few pointers on coping with exam stress.

1. First of all, realise that a bit of stress is not always a bad thing. This is usually the first indicator that helps you recognize how much it means to you and motivates you to work hard. However, it is when the stress becomes a bit of a limiting factor that it starts affecting the performance.

2. It might also be helpful to talk to those that have already experienced what you’re going through. This could be your mentor, personal tutor or anyone else in your department that you feel comfortable with. No one will be able to help you, if you don’t say anything.

3. Use a revision strategy that has always worked best for you. Some of us work better through visualisations (so for the Chemists, this means model kits), whereas some prefer analogies. See what suits you best!

4. Eat well – you don’t want to be lacking in energy when it comes to your exams. Make sure you have a good breakfast, lunch and dinner.

5. Since research has shown that you should sleep approximately 8 hours a day (not more or less), get the right amount of sleep. Don’t think it’s a smart idea to stay up until 5 am to study, because it really isn’t.

6. Find something that helps you to de-stress. Some people find classical music or exercising relaxing during exam season and as a break between revision.

7. During the exam, if you feel exam panic kicking in, take a few deep breaths and sit back for a moment or two.

8. Finally, when the exam is over, don’t analyse over it. What you have written down cannot be changed and you have given it your best. Especially don’t do this if you have more than one exam, since this could have a negative impact on your other exams.

After all the exams are over, pat yourself on the back and look forward to the long holiday ahead of you.

Just as a side-note, there will be a session on stress management first day back in Term 3 for the first years. But anyone else, get in touch with an academic or even with the student support services that are available on campus. (There should be a link to the support services page with my post.)

Hope this was at least somewhat worth a read!

Good luck studying

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