Studying often turns out to be stressful. And what about tests? It’s even worse. When the time comes, it seems that students can even die from anxiety. Some students, however, boast about discovering their own ways of handling stress, especially stress before exams.
But if you don’t know how to calm down and are still haunted by nightmares, the following tips will definitely help you. Tips to reduce stress:
Be well prepared: The more you know about the subject, the less you have to be afraid of. To memorize better, try different methods and define which of them work best for you – visualization, flash cards, printing out some information and highlighting the most important parts of it, and working together with your groupmates to imitate exam and exchange feedback on what mistakes were made.
Also, it would be good to write down necessary information and work out checklists – they ease your work and let you prioritize. Cross out what you have already done, underline which topics are more important than others and those you know well.
Take your time when preparing for another test or exam. Plan in advance – create a schedule of when and how long you are going to study, set attainable goals, be sure you have enough time for learning, revision and relaxing. A word to the wise: Don’t underestimate the power of breaks – the do mean a lot.
On the day of your exam, check if you took all the things you need with you – notes with information you need to review, pens, a bottle of water and some snacks, for example.
Another important thing is to make your working place extremely comfortable. A well-equipped space around you improves your work efficiency and encourages concentration. When nothing disturbs you, you can cope with tasks a lot easier.
In order to relax, try the following techniques. Select any of them or try all:
- take deep and slow breathes;
- go for walks in the fresh air and exercise for 10-20 minutes a day;
- don’t concentrate on your fears of future exams. Instead, think of the task you are about to accomplish;
- don’t pay attention to your groupmates who are stressed and not prepared;
- encourage yourself, pay attention to what you have already achieved and think of possible presents you can give yourself after passing a test successfully.
It’s one of the foremost rules for those who study, even kids are aware of this fact. Have a good night’s sleep during the preparation period and right before the test. Staying up late only does you harm. Your brain works all day absorbing information – at least let it have a decent rest at night.
Eat well, and do not come to the exam hungry – you should feel comfortable and not be stressed. Your task is to pass the test with flying colors, and an empty stomach is only going to distract you. You’d better choose healthy food like vegetables and fruit, since they can help you minimize or overcome stress.
For the record, try to study without caffeine – it stimulates for a short period of time, but then can make you feel unwell. It might then result in insomnia, headache and even increase of anxiety. Does anybody want to have these troubles? Certainly, no!
Do not hesitate to ask your teachers, parents or friends for help – there are a lot of things you can’t manage on your own. Sometimes it’s better to study together with other students or share your difficulties with family members and ask them for advice. It’d be better for you not to have a lot on your plate.
Anxiety before tests may turn into a serious problem. Be sure your teachers are aware of the issue. Perhaps they will let you take the test in a different form, which is convenient both for you and your educators.
You can also check the list of other recommendations psychologists usually give students.
The moment you’re through with your test, review the tactics that helped you relieve your stress and make use of them in future. Don’t forget that you can overcome any obstacle if you work hard enough. When it comes to stressing about exams, it’s something you can easily manage!