How to handle exam stress

It's normal to find the lead up to exams stressful. But sometimes that pressure can feel overwhelming.

Here are our eight tips to help you manage how you're feeling.

  • Tip 1: Get organised It sounds simple but try to plan your revision in small chunks rather than saving it up for one big marathon cramming session just before. Adding in time for doing things you enjoy will help you to maintain a healthy balance in your mindset.
  • Tip 2: Eat, sleep and exercise well Make sure you get enough sleep, and make time to do some exercise; even going for a short walk will help you refocus on your revision when you get back. Eating healthily and staying hydrated will help keep you mentally alert too.
  • Tip 3: Set realistic goals You can only revise for short periods of time. Set yourself frequent breaks to make the task manageable and maintain your energy and focus. Being realistic about what you can do in the time available can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed, and either giving up or avoiding getting started.
  • Tip 4: Breathe slowly If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed  in the moment you can practice slowing your breathing down to help you compose yourself – deep breathe in and out counting to five each time. 
  • Tip 5: Ask for help if you need it If you're struggling, talk to someone and get support from your friends, teachers and family.
  • Tip 6: Avoid comparing yourself with others We all have different skills and are amazing indifferent ways. You can only do your best and that is good enough
  • Tip 7: Keep perspective Whatever happens in your exams, you can still be successful in life afterwards and there will be lots of options open to you no matter what the results.
  • Tip 8: Believe in yourself You can do it! Just take it one step at a time.

Remember, you can only do your best and there is life after exams! If you need more support you can self refer to Talking Therapies:

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