After sitting my GCSEs three years ago this year, my brother going through his now and my younger brother going through SATS, I thought I would offer a little bit of advice for coping with the stress of exams.
1. Prepare Yourself
Obviously, this sounds stupid, but it is also something that many people think they can get away with. You have to prepare yourself mentally for the amount of studying you’re about to do, the amount of stress you’re about to be put under and how much you’re going to pressure yourself. I made the mistake of thinking I’d fly through my exams without having to study, but I was wrong. Every night I’d come home and study for the rest of the evening to prepare myself for the next day. It turns out, I couldn’t prepare more for the stress!
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important during your exams because it enables you to switch off from the stress and wake up feeling a lot better. You won’t be able to concentrate on your exams wholeheartedly if you’re tired because of too little or too much sleep. Try to get around 7-8 hours sleep a night to make sure you’re ready and refreshed the next day. There are apps available on your phone that helps to track your sleep pattern and regulate your sleeping pattern; I recommend using Sleep Cycle.
3. Try To Destress
You will be overly stressed over the exam period. Make sure you look after yourself and take the time to chill out. Give yourself a pamper, have a relaxing bubble bath, or just take a night away from the books. You will need something that will be able to relax you after studying or an actual exam.
4. Exercise A Little
Exercising is so good for you, little cliche I know. If you feel yourself getting way too stressed, take a 10-minute break and do some running on the spot or jumping jacks. Exercise releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body, which will enable you to be a lot more positive about the exam you have the following morning.
5. Be Sure To Eat Right
Make sure that in the midst of studying, school and the exam itself that you remember to eat right. 3 meals a day will keep your body full of energy if eating the right things so that you feel ready when you have an exam in the afternoon. Having a banana for breakfast on the way to school or college will keep you alert and energised until lunch, which I’d also recommend having a piece of fruit with too. Having a healthy diet throughout your exams will help you to not get over stressed.
The most obvious thing I could possibly tell you, but it’s true. Don’t panic because you can’t remember the equation to solving that maths problem, skip it and come back to it. The answers sometimes come to you at the strangest times, and you’ll be remembering stuff for days afterwards. Ever lost your keys, then woke up at 2:30 in the morning remembering where they are? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.
7. Don’t Put Yourself Under Too Much Pressure
It’s natural to pressure yourself so much, and a lot of pressure comes from those around you. Just don’t fall into a hole where all that surrounds you is the constant pressure. You will find that by pressuring yourself too much you’ll completely forget everything and feeling like you can’t do the exam. Make sure you remind yourself that it’s okay to mess up or skip a question and go back to it. You don’t need 100% on all of your exams to succeed! Think of the exam as a mock exam except you’re in a hall instead of a class room. I stopped myself having many panic attacks by reminding myself that I’m not perfect and it’s okay to mess up – you’re only human!
8. You Are Human
I believe it is crazy the amount that is put on 16-year-olds sitting their GCSEs. I hated to them and I hated doing my A Levels too. You need to keep yourself grounded and pacify yourself sometimes. You are human, you’re allowed to make mistakes, you’re allowed to drop a mark. And if you get a C instead of that B that you was really hoping for, it’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up, you tried your best and that’s all you can do. Be kind to yourself.I hope this helps! Good luck to everyone sitting exams, you’ll all do fab x
I hope this helps! Good luck to everyone sitting exams, you’ll all do fab x