Exam time can be incredibly stressful even at the best of times, especially when you are away from home. Here are a few tips for dealing with exam stress while at university.

  • Start revising early, the earlier you start the more time you will have to learn harder things, and you will be less inclined to panic. You can also email or ask your lectures questions about things you don’t understand
  • Plan well in advance, create a REALISTIC revision timetable, at university level it is unlikely you can switch between topics as quickly as at school, dedicate about 2 days to each module at a time, otherwise you’ll find it hard to get into the swing of things.
  • Look up your exam timetable as soon as it becomes available. Don’t spend too long revising exams which have large gaps between them. If you exams are well spaced learn each module well and only that module at a time, so you don’t have to remember unnecessary material.
  • Background reading does help, but only if you’ve done it more than a couple days in advance! If you are struggling to just remember the lectures then it may not be worth worrying yourself with background reading.
  • If you feel you are not remembering anything, chances are you probably aren’t! Find another method to revise, or stop revising until you can concentrate properly again – revising for the sake of revision is a waste of time.

  • Reward yourself! Many people feel guilty about going out in exam time, but you can still reward yourself with chocolate, good meals and a trip to the local curry house when you’ve finished a set of exams.
  • Get a good night sleep, and never revise beyond your standard bedtime.
  • Always eat well and have good wholesome meals. Pasta is a great choice for exam meals; it will give you lots of energy for the next day’s work.
  • Cook meals that will last a couple days or more, lasagna is a great choice.
  • Cooking in general is a good way to relax and stop you having to stare at revision notes.
  • At the end of every week have some chill out time with your friends; get outside and do something fun.
  • Alcohol does make you forget, and it will ruin a good days worth of revision, wait until the end of your exams before having a massive night out! It’s a good way to reward yourself when everything is over as well.
  • Energy drinks don’t really help much, they make you hyper active and easily distracted. I’d recommend just getting up early, and drinking some squash or water.
  • Make sure to keep yourself hydrated during revision time. Dehydration will cause you to lose concentration
  • Breakfast and lunch are important parts of the day still, ensure you have both, and take a good hour break for lunch. A big lunch will help you through the afternoon.
  • Don’t waste your mornings in bed! It doesn’t help, you still have to revise!
  • If you find things are getting too stressful try and contact your personal tutor.
  • Get into a routine the night before an exam, and go to bed at your normal time! Trying to go to bed earlier will end up in you sitting up in bed worrying! Try not to look at any material before the exam the next morning, but if you forget something have a quick look just in case it comes up! I always keep my lecture notes by my bed while I’m sleeping just in case something comes up during the night.
  • Keep your revision area clean and tidy, and ensure that your house or wherever you work is a nice warm working temperature, if it is too cold you are not likely to want to even get out of bed especially not to revise!
  • Stock up with food before exam season starts, so you don’t have to do frequent supermarket trips.
  • Make sure there is nothing on your mind, such as job applications or interviews while you are revising.
  • Controversial perhaps, but I always ask my parents to censor any news they tell me during exam period, its a lot less stressful if you don’t have to worry about a relative in hospital, until after the exams are over. Likely it will cause you more stress as you have to repeat the exam during the summer, it may sound like a harsh strategy but that’s because it is.
  • Finally relieve your stress by relaxing after you have finished revision for the day, doing something you enjoy doing, like watch television or playing computer games.
 

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