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Exam Anxiety

The thought of examinations can cause students anxiety.  If this is true for you, one of the best ways to cope is to feel in control, which can be achieved through preparation. 

  • Think about how you prepare for an exam.  Look for areas where you think you can improve and reflect on the possible strategies you might try.  Use the same process for how you take an examination.
  • Make use of self-management, especially planning, and support strategies in conjunction with revision and exam-taking strategies.

Stress Management

  • Prepare yourself emotionally by visualising your personal best exam performance and use techniques such as deep breathing and positive self talk to help you to relax.
  • Avoid unnecessary stress by starting your revision plan early.
  • Develop a regular routine for your study, sleeping, eating and exercise to help you maintain physical, mental and emotional health.
  • Manage stress by getting regular exercise, sleeping and eating properly and scheduling in breaks and relaxation time into your study time.
  • Allocating a particular task for a particular day can help you to build a routine and feel more in control.  This can include doing tasks such as the shopping or washing, or going to the gym on the same day every week and having a set day (e.g. every Wednesday) for studying in the library.
  • Try to concentrate on the factors that are in your control rather than those which are not, for example concentrating on the revision and exam process rather than thinking ahead to what result you may get.
  • Try to relax and view the exam process positively, it is a chance for you to demonstrate what you have learned.
  • At some point after the exam (give yourself time!) try to evaluate how effective your revision and examination strategies were.  Learn from your exam performance.

Click here for more resources on managing anxiety.