Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it can be just the push you need to get something done. Other times, however, it can lead to physical and mental meltdowns that interfere with your health and wellbeing.
For students, stress often arises during exam time. There’s a lot of pressure to do well, especially if your grades aren’t that great. So, how can you cope with it all as you prepare for exams? Here are five indispensable tips to help you get through the stresses of exam prep.
Don’t Prepare Alone
Studying by yourself might sound like a good idea, but research shows that preparing for a test with one or more people helps you absorb information better. This could mean enlisting the help of high school tutors or simply planning a weekly group study session with friends. Everyone learns differently, so you must do what works best for you. Just keep in mind that the emotional benefits of social support may give you the confidence you need to ace that exam.
Take Care of Yourself
All-night study sessions and a diet rich in junk food can add to the stress your body is already under during exam preparation. The best thing you can do for yourself to reduce stress during this time is to take care of yourself properly. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep (8-9 hours a night), eating a balanced diet, and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Whether you have weeks, days, or just hours before the big exam, you must be realistic with yourself about what you hope to achieve. Obviously, if you’ve put off studying until the last minute, you can’t hope to do as well as if you’ve spent a few weeks beforehand preparing. Setting realistic goals will allow you to relax, which will help you absorb information better. In turn, this will help you do better on your test.
It’s natural to feel a little panic before, during, and even after taking a test. If you find yourself going off the deep end as you prepare for the big day, try to remember that there’s always a rational solution to every problem, even if you can’t see it right away.
If you get hung up on a problem, try calming your nerves by stepping away, taking a deep breath or two, getting a sip of water, and then coming back to it. Attempt to break the problem down into manageable chunks and then tackle them one at a time.
Believe You Can Do Well
Being a student is challenging. Under such constant pressure, you can easily forget how far you’ve come. If you’ve prepared well, there should be no reason to worry about doing well. Having said that, it’s still easy to have negative thoughts going into a big test. When this happens, you must actively replace these thoughts with uplifting alternatives.
For example, rather than telling yourself that you’re a failure if you don’t get a certain grade, try telling yourself, “whatever grade I get, I’m going to be proud of the hard work I’ve put in and how much I’ve already accomplished.” You’ve got this!
Without a doubt, preparing for exams is stressful. Whether you’re in high school or college, preparing for a big test is hard work. Hopefully, the tips above will help you reduce your stress levels as you prepare for your next exam period.
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