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6 Tips to Beat Exam Stress

3 min

Whether you’re cramming for exams, finishing your final assignments and projects or putting the finishing touches on your thesis, you’re going to get stressed. We’ve all been there. You’ve started studying at 9am, fast-forward 12 hours and you feel like you’ve covered nothing or that you’ll never hit your word count. You’ve stocked up on junk food and are practically on a first name basis with people in your local takeaway. The end is so close you can almost taste it, but stress levels are staying high. We’ve got a tried and tested list of ways you can manage your stress and maintain a healthy life.

Exercise 

Exercise is probably far from your mind, but even a brisk 20 minute walk not only gets you away from your desk, but it also clears your head so you can organise your thoughts. Put on your most upbeat playlist, if you’re worried about being away for too long set a timer on your phone and get outside for some fresh air! When you get back you’ll be energised and ready to tackle your next study session.

Don’t push yourself too far 

People have their own styles and methods of study, which is especially true when it comes to concentration. Some people can sit down and study for hours on end, others can only study for so long before distraction kicks in. If you relate to the latter group, a tool like My Tomatoes is just what you need. It sets a timer for 25 minutes; 25 minutes of uninterrupted, 100% focused study. Once the timer goes off you write down everything you achieved in the 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. Make a cup of tea, get up and stretch your legs, grab a snack and get ready for the next 25 minutes. It makes study a lot more manageable and at the end of the day you’ll have a list of everything you got achieved.

Routine 

Following on from the point above - work out a rough plan of topics you plan on covering during the week and break up your days accordingly. Try and get up at the same time every day and have regular mealtimes to give your day more structure. Start early in the day to make sure you get your work done while you’re at peak productivity and then you can relax in the evening (somewhat) guilt-free.

Avoid the social media binge 

You may say to yourself “Oh I’ll just have a quick look on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter” but trust me, it’s never a quick look. Use a website like Get Cold Turkey to block out websites like your social media accounts or your guilty pleasure gossip or listicle websites, anything you know will distract you. Set aside 1 - 2 hours in the evening when you’re having your dinner and relaxing and then to catch up on your social news from the day.

Treat yo’ self 

In the wise words of Tom Haverford from Parks & Recreation - ‘treat yo’ self’. Don’t tire yourself out putting all nighters, be kind to future you and get regular sleep, at least 6 - 7 hours a night. Don’t rely on takeaways for dinner, make yourself a hearty and healthy meal; do a group dinner with your housemates or make a batch of food you can freeze that will keep you going throughout the week. Don’t punish yourself, watch your favourite tv show, go to the cinema and meet your friends for a study free zone coffee. 

Get Psyched 

Whether it’s to wake you up in the morning, get you pumped up en route to an exam or as a mood booster when the stress hits, there’s nothing better than playing an awesome song to get you in the zone. Have it on hand to play, and dance away the stress!

Don’t let your exams get the best of you - try these techniques to make your study not only more efficient and manageable but less stressful too! Check out our recent blog post on the power of mindfulness to help reduce your stress further. Best of luck in your exams!

Written by Ellie Tallon