We’re coming into Week 2 of exams – fatigue is high, the pressure is on and your motivation may be starting to wane. It’s no surprise that this time of year can leave people feeling stressed and anxious. Here are five tips to help you say goodbye to these feelings and say hello to exam success.
1. Get enough sleep
The benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be underestimated, especially in the lead up to an exam. Being well-rested will help you maintain focus and understand and remember complex concepts. While it might seem silly to waste precious ‘study-hours’ sleeping the night before an exam, this sacrifice is doing your brain (and sanity!) a world of good.
2. Don’t cram
It’s generally not a great idea to cram just before an exam. While there’s nothing wrong with reviewing your notes the day before an exam, trying to learn complete concepts without any prior study will only serve to increase your stress levels, not your memory. While everyone learns differently, most people will benefit from repetition – whether it’s rewriting concepts onto study cards, doing practice exams from previous years or even discussing the content with other students, revisiting the information will help it to stick.
3. Listen to classical music
Classical music has been proved to reduce stress levels, spark creativity and improve memory, all of which are super vital around exam time. So even if you prefer Beyoncé to Bach, we think it’s worth a try!
4. Give your mind space
Let’s be honest – exams can be completely overwhelming. If you’re in an exam and starting to get flustered, put down your pen and take a few deep breaths. While it might not seem like the best use of time, taking some time to centre your thoughts will help you to create clearer, more concise answers in the end.
5. Don’t talk to your classmates after the exam!
WARNING: Keep away from the post exam debriefs. We have all had that moment after exams where we ask a friend what they answered for a question, only to receive a response which is completely different to what we wrote. These conversations are definitely not helpful for reducing exam-related stress. You can’t change what has already happened, so do yourself a favour and resist the urge to ask. Remember, you have a couple of weeks after exams before you get your results and you should enjoy that time.