- Revision Tips!
- Revision Stress
- Coping with Revision Stress
- Night Before
- Coping on the Day
Exam Results: Don't Panic!
Whether you get the results you wanted, or don't do as well as you'd have liked, get all the advice you'll ever need about all the options open to you.
Exam Stress Explained
Feeling stressed generally means feeling anxious about something that you're having difficulty controlling or confronting. The symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual emotional feelings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of libido
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Feeling generally unwell or unable to relax
Stress can also cause depression. The symptoms include mood changes, poor appetite, poor sleep, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts or actions. It can also affect motivation, making it hard to study for exams.
A small amount of stress is necessary. It's part of our natural warning system, making us alert to danger and ready to run from threatening situations. In an exam situation, a small amount of adrenaline pumping through your body keeps you alert.
Exams can be nerve-wracking and controlling your stress levels around this time can be difficult. However, there are certain steps you can take to help prevent it from taking hold:
Manage your studying
Don't go mad and lock yourself in with your books 24 hours a day. Two to three hours is the maximum amount of time you can study before you stop really absorbing what you read. So, break up periods of work with periods of relaxation. And reward yourself for your hard work with small treats.
Start relaxing NOW
Incorporate some relaxing activities into your schedule NOW if you know a stressful period is coming up. Maybe go for a half hour walk, take time to make yourself a tasty lunch or go along to a yoga or pilates class. Stretching exercises and meditation can help lower your general anxiety, especially if done on a regular basis. Look at yoga-mad Gwyneth Paltrow, you don't get much more chilled than her.
Feed your head with healthy foods. Avoid very rich or spicy foods, moderate your alcohol intake (or you won't be able to recall what you read) until after the exams and vitamin supplements might be worth trying for a few weeks.
Good sleep is vital
Exam stress sometimes makes sleeping difficult. So, set a definite time to go to bed and stick to it. A period of gentle music, a light snack or a glass of milk and a warm bath will help you relax before bed. Read the Onelife Better Better guide to sleeping.
Keeping busy when you're not studying stops you dwelling on exam worries. Sport and other activities, such as dancing, art and cooking, can make you feel more relaxed, as well as boosting confidence. So, take regular breaks out of your studies to relax in this way.
Be nice to yourself
Self-affirmation works wonders! You may feel silly but tell yourself that you are great, you can do it, and generally psyche yourself up to feeling that you will come top. Why do you think athletes do it before a match?
Failure is not the end
Try to remember that although you want to do well, failing is not the end of your chances. Many of the world's most successful men and women survived many failures. If it really matters to you, you can always resit.
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