Dealing with exam stress

by - 4:00 PM

Yes, everyone hates exams and dealing with exam stress. Especially when this is increased because you have to revise in a very short amount of time all you have been procrastinating throughout the year. In order to help you avoid existential crises and unwanted stress, I have some simple tips that I hope will motivate you and make your life easier: 

Start as soon as possible
There is no time to waste and the soon you start, the better. The hardest part is getting into a good routine but once you find a good rhythm, it will be a lot easier. Make slow changes: for instance, I have gradually both started waking up earlier and getting back into studying after spring break.

Make a timetable
Print a calendar, use your phone or make a dedicated spread in your bullet journal to plan out your study sessions. Leave some days blank because things usually take up more time than expected and this way, you will be able to catch up.

Find a place to focus
Honestly, when I stay in my room, and even if I am mentally prepared to study, I simply get distracted by every little thing and end up doing nothing. I have found that going to my university's library is ideal for me because there I can actually focus. So my advice is to find a place where you feel comfortable and constantly in the mood to work. Do you work better in calmer environments? Or do you prefer busier places such as cafés? Would you rather have a study buddy or work by yourself? These are all important things to consider.

Use multiple resources
Take advantage of the era you live in. Use textbooks, notes you have made, e-books, journals, sample exercises, search online for more resources,... I usually finalize topics by watching youtube videos: they are more appealing and therefore easier to memorize as well as a means of less harsh studying.

Sleep well
Are you a night or a morning person? Regardless, you should try to have a good night of sleep. While you are resting, your brain is reactivating and reorganizing all you have learned during the day. In fact, if you don't rest properly, you will have impaired abilities to concentrate and memorize.

Nourish your body
Don't forget to EAT and drink WATER. I cannot stress this enough: you might think you are doing yourself a favor by creating more time to study but in reality, you are compromising your productivity. Your brain needs to be fueled in order to have the energy to process and memorize all the information you are bombarding at it!

Not only prioritize what modules and topics you need to focus more on, but also what you do besides studying. The important thing to remember is to have a balance. However, you need to be aware that there are certain things that can wait until your exams are over. Do take some time to yourself but keep in mind your objectives. For instance, after a long day of studying, I end the night with a episode of Doctor House (such a great show!) in order to reward myself.

Reinforce what you don't know
It does feel amazing and rewarding when you are studying and realize you understand a concept or are capable of correctly applying a formula. However, you should also and specially put the effort into understanding what you have difficulties with. Struggling is all part of the process and with practice and dedication you will eventually manage to get through it.

As I see my exam dates approaching I start getting so nervous since I think I won't have enough time to learn all I need to know. So, if you're dealing with exam stress, you're soooo not alone. I hope you found at least one of these tips helpful and remember:

Try your best and don't be too harsh on yourself

Good luck with your exams,
Irene xx

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