Stress can keep you focused and alert, but it can also affect your exam performance. So keeping stress under control is very important.
1. To fight stress, plan ahead as much as possible. Create a revision schedule and if you realise you are not following it, then work out how to catch up before it becomes a problem.
2. Avoid panic – don’t revise late at night before the exam. Doing so will raise your stress levels. When you enter the exam hall you need to feel confident, know the syllabus and the structure of the exam paper, and how long you have to complete it. Preparation will ease your nerves.
3. Exercise and healthy eating can keep stress levels low. A 10 minute walk will help get things in perspective and refresh you for better revision. Avoid too much caffeine, sugary drinks and junk food. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will help you feel alert and focused.
4. Practise some quick and easy relaxation techniques for the day of the exam, such as slow breathing, or tensing then relaxing muscles. See what works for you and use it to counter any stress that could build up while you wait for the exam to start.
5. Finally, make sure you know where you are going in advance of the exam day. Leave plenty of time to get to the exam venue so that you feel as calm as possible when you arrive. However, if you arrive more than 15 minutes early, sit somewhere nearby that is quiet and relax until you need to go in. Spending time with other students who may be anxious and cramming outside the exam hall will risk them passing on their feelings of stress to you.