10 Ways To Survive The Exam Period

May 10, 2015

It's getting to that time of year again. No not summer. Exams. What's that you say? You're one hundred percent stress free and prepared? Wow well done you. Except nobody really says that do they? No because exams are horrible and we all tend to face them head first and then plummet into them suddenly realising 'crap I don't remember anything I've been revising for weeks!'. If that sounds like you raise your hand. Hmm that's what I thought. Stress is a nasty bugger and when we feel stressed we feel we cannot function properly, let alone sit an exam. 

But alas, I have tried my very best to come up with some stress relieving exercises or past times that might at least cause your anxiety levels to go down, even if only for a short while. So I hope these help or at least are fun to try, and I must put this out there- I am no expert in stress! I have just found these things have worked for myself. 

1.) Have a cup of tea. Wow that sounds so British doesn't it? But I truly do believe a cup of tea can solve almost anything. Especially if you have what I call a 'dunk'. A 'dunk' is defined as a good biscuit that can easily be dunked into a cup of tea without falling in. Drinking tea definitely makes me less stressed, and in some cultures, drinking tea is made ceremonial- so drink up... but avoid scolding your throat!

2.) Meditate. Now I bet I have some people rolling their eyes. Am I right? Well stop. Meditation doesn't necessarily mean sitting cross legged saying 'omm'. It can be anything that allows you to clear your mind. So try going for a walk down a peaceful lane. Or laying down with some relaxing (or whatever kind) music on. What ever it is that allows your brain to stop and relax, that can be your type of mediation. Myself personally? I like to go on a jog, put my headphones in and clear my mind.

3.) Take a break. There is no point sitting for hours on end revising because eventually you'll run out of steam and nothing more will go in. Your brain will be saturated. So take a break. Perhaps set a schedule and take a half an hour break every two hours or so. BUT make sure your taking a well deserved break. Don't procrastinate whilst staring at your revision for two hours then reward yourself with even more time off! Naughty!

4.) Stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day- it's brain food! If your reading or typing all day and you're not drinking enough it'll only lead to a massive headache.

5.) Get plenty of sleep. Make sure you are having the appropriate amount of sleep. Don't work yourself silly into the early hours of the morning. You must ask yourself 'is the quality of work going to be any good at this time?' and 'I won't be missing hours of revision as revising now would be pointless.' Then make sure you get up at a reasonable time, as too long of a lie in could lead to a head ache or even other aches and pains- not good!

6.) Make sure your working space is tidy. You know what they say, 'messy room messy mind'. Do people say that? I think they do, it's a good saying anyway! I know personally I don't feel I can work well if the area around me is cluttered and has dirty cups and dishes surrounding me. So spend an hour in the morning cleaning up (if you need to) and afterwards I promise you'll feel so much more ready to start the day of revising.

7.) Revise with a friend. Now this could go both ways. It'll either lead to no revision. Or if you're with the right kind of person in the right environment it can lead to a pretty great day of revising. I think it's helpful to discuss with your peers and see their opinions about the work your learning. It can help you decide how you feel and how much more you need to do. Plus if you're stuck you can work together to help or share knowledge. 

8.) Have some snacks. Revision simply cannot take place if your taste buds are grumpy. Treat yourself to some sweets. Perhaps even create a reward system so you feel you have achieved something after each sweet. Sounds weird but believe me it's strangely motivational.

9.) Plan a nice evening. Perhaps plan to stop revising at a certain time each night and schedule something nice to do afterwards. This probably shouldn't involve being reckless but even a movie with a glass of wine or a bubble bath with that bath stuff you got at Christmas and hadn't found a time to use it yet, would be enough to allow you to relax.

10.) Don't be too hard on yourself. We all have to accept that we can only do our best. And if you get a bad grade it does not mean you aren't clever. Just accept that exams are structured to catch you out and sometimes we don't get the questions we'd like or we simply don't test well. But don't let it ruin you. Do your best, and then let it go. Don't push yourself over the edge. 

So I hope these little tips have been helpful or have given you some ideas as to how to stay stress free during the exam period. 

Best of luck with all your exams!

Speak soon
Laura X

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