Every student who aims to become a high-achiever will experience exam stress. It’s an unavoidable part of student life that can be a tough nut to crack. Remember, stress exists for a reason and you can choose to let it be your downfall or use it to drive you to improve your work.
To combat exam stress, firstly you need to understand the reasons behind this heightened anxiety. Then you can establish methods to reduce the pressures you feel. The difference between a student who allows stress to overwhelm them and someone who uses it to push them harder is what they do when they’re facing that brick wall mid-study. Admirable students will pause, reflect and choose a path that’ll help them overcome the impasse, not just wait for the wave to engulf them.
Below are some unexpected ways that you can put those negative feelings to one side and concentrate on your learning goals.
Listen to classical music
Listening to music can create a positive and productive environment by elevating your mood and encouraging you to study more effectively and for longer. Classical music is recommended as the best type of music to boost your brain power. Ambient music can work too.
Take a quick walk
Many students feel as if they should spend their entire time before exams with their books open and their pen poised for action. However, exercising, like taking a walk, can boost your memory and brain power.
Plan your study routine
This may not be a big surprise but what is shocking is the amount of students who discount the benefits of creating a personal study plan. With some initial effort, you can become more productive and motivated each day you approach your studies by understanding your learning progress.
Play with bubble wrap and puppies
Where do puppies come into exam stress? Lots of universities have installed ‘puppy rooms’ where students can come to relieve stress and anxiety. Pets have been found to help you focus while studying. However, don’t take your puppy with you into the library. Popping bubble wrap is another stress reliever you can save for home study as well.
Try to get enough sleep
For some people, this is something that’s always put on the long finger, especially if you’re trying to get the most out of college life. The benefits of a proper night’s sleep can never be underestimated. Most importantly, sleep helps your brain to assimilate new knowledge into your long-term memory so that you can recall it when it comes to test day. Anyone who has tried to concentrate with half a night’s sleep can also testify to improved focus with better sleep.
Use mobile apps
There are tons of mobile apps designed to improve your quality of life. Whether you want to get better organised, improve your mental arithmetic or work on your project management training course, there’s an app for that. There are mobile apps for iOS and Android, so you can make the most of your time no matter where you are. Downloading the app will give you access to over two million learning resources from around the world.
Give your mind space
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to take a break and see your stress from a different perspective. Practising meditation is another way to maintain focus while improving both mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress.
Eating dark chocolate
Believe it or not, but dark chocolate helps with stress. Eating dark chocolate which is over 70% cocoa fights the stress hormone cortisol and has an overall relaxing effect on the body. Plus chocolate releases endorphins which act as a natural stress fighter. Go ahead, grab a chocolate bar.
Let it all out
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone. Whether it’s with a family member or just a friend. Other times you need to shout it from the rooftop or scream from the top of your lungs. Figure out what you’re feeling and then let it out. Speaking to a family member or friend can highlight the bigger picture for you and empower you to rise above the exam stress.
Break free from distractions
Many times you don’t even realise the number of times you check Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media platform you’re using. When you add it all up together, it amounts to a significant waste of time. It can be hard to detach from your life outside of studying, but keeping the end goal and timeframe in mind will ease the process.
There is no point worrying afterwards
So you’ve made it to the exam but afterwards can be just as stressful as before you took the test. Convincing yourself you have failed weeks after the exam isn’t a good thing to do. You’ve done your best and nothing can be changed now. Getting yourself stressed out is just a waste of time.