Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Coping With The Stress Of Exams

When taking exams I personally think that schools/colleges/universities put an excessive amount of pressure on students to do good, pass and go above and beyond when it comes to grades which gives students added stress and worry. We've all heard the saying, or something along the lines of it "if you don't pass your exams you'll struggle in life" when really it's not 100% true.
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That dreaded saying was said by all of my teachers when I was taking my GCSEs; they talked to us as if it was going to be the end of the world if we didn't pass but nonetheless, you should try your utmost best to achieve the most you can. To keep you calm and assured during the exam period I've come up with some advice on what you should and shouldn't do to help you out.

Revising: You should start revising 3-4 months before your exams come up, this will allow to you revise all the information which you learnt at the start of the year but now have forgotten and to keep up with the oncoming facts which you need to know. The longer you have to revise the better it'll be for you. It doesn't matter when or if your friends haven't started their revision yet, it'll benefit you as you've had more time to reiterate everything in your mind so you know it more thorough than them. Do not and I repeat do not begin revising a couple of weeks before as this will make you panic, your brain will go into shut down mode which will make you even more at unease. Also, don't revise for long periods of time, revise for half an hour, take a short break or around five-ten minutes and then get back to revision again. Breaks are important and drinking water throughout your revision will hydrate your brain. If you're still unsure on the best ways to revise then this will give you all the techniques you need.


Timetable: This will be essential for you when scheduling when you should revise topics on certain days. A brilliant website which can help you do this is Getrevising, here you can enter days which you're free, activities you do in your spare time, when you start and end school, all your exams and when they are and then it'll do the hard work for you. It'll schedule your revision time around your spare time, it'll give you the time to start and end revising that subject as well. Timetabling everything will make you feel more calm as you'll have your revision sorted out so you can revise everything before your exam comes up.
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Rescue Remedy: If you struggle with stress and are finding it hard to cope then this is what you need in your life. It's a bottle of fluid which restores calmness within you, reliving stress without giving you side effects. My friend and I both used this just before we went into an exam as we were so worried but it worked wonders for us as it calmed us down, meaning we were less stressed when we walked into the exam haul, putting us at ease as the spray is scented. You spray it into your mouth a few times, depending on how stressed/worried you are and within seconds you'll feel much better.

Nutrition&Hydration: In the morning of your exams it's essential to eat and drink water. Having breakfast everyday is important but it's especially important on the days of your exams as not eating will make you feel sick, therefore you'll be panicking because you don't feel well which will cause additional stress and worry. There is a possibility that you'll feel unwell because of the stress which is eating you up however, if you have breakfast, e.g. cereal or toast followed by a drink you'll be fine. Likewise taking a bottle of water into your exam is an essential. If you're in an exam which is longer than an hour your brain will most likely dehydrate and struggle to think as you strain it thinking of the answer, however when you take your water in and sip it throughout the exam it'll give your brain the water it needs to help you.
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Comparing Answers: As soon as you step out of that exam hall there's no doubt that everyone will be talking and asking about questions within the exam that they struggled on or think they got right and there's a 99% chance someone will talk to you about it. But, as hard as it may be, try not to talk to anyone about it as it'll make you panic and you'll start thinking that you've wrote the wrong answer down which then makes you adamant that you've failed when really you might of got them all right.

The main things which you should remember is to: plan, revise, drink, eat and breathe. Remember, you don't want to come out of your exam thinking you could of done more, you should go in feeling confident as you've revised thoroughly throughout the past months. Put every effort you have into the exam as you'll benefit from it. I hope this has helped any of you which are going to be taking exams. Let me know your thoughts on this post in the comments below and thanks for reading,


*Image of planner, from Getrevising.com*

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