Coping with exam stress

I always remember the old gloomy feeling in my stomach whenever exam season is coming. Going into this stressful territory, where we get sweaty palms and our heart racing make it near impossible to sit down and revise. Here are my top 5 tips that have helped me with nervous times, and hopefully will help you. 

  1. Prioritise what needs to be done!

This is an important student learning skill. It’s vital to know what should be done immediately and what can be completed later. It depends on person to person, if they want to do the easier tasks first or the harder ones. Making a list and having practical goals can help you visualize how much time you need to dedicate to each goal. Get started and as you progress it will get easier to tackle tasks.

2. Making a revision timetable – Some people like to book time slots for each day for specific tasks. On the other hand, I don’t work well with such tactics instead I like to assign certain topics on each day. Having a routine works like a timetable for me instead of making a full-on calendar schedule. But like I said before, it all depends on person to person.  Whatever helps you reduce your anxiety levels and gets work done on time, you should follow that

3. Remove distractions – Checking your phone for Instagram, Facebook and snaps is the worst procrastination possible. We don’t realise how quickly time slips away when we are looking at countless tiktoks.

It’s time to keep your phone on silent or deactivate social apps or download apps that lock socials. There is an app ‘Hold’ that gives you real rewards like amazon vouchers and free coffee, just for not using your phone. It works by giving points for every 20 minutes of not using your phone. I am not saying just completely disconnect with the world, but instead limit your screen time.

4.Check-in on your mental health – Try not putting yourself in a lot of pressure as this can result in a negative effect not only your productivity but also your mental health. Be kind to yourself. We are not super computers, that can memorize everything. Take a little time out of revision to treat yourself. Eat out, have a movie night, catch up with your mates.

5.Mock exam practice -Practice! practice! practice! Get comfortable with answering exam type questions as this helps you understand what your knowledge gaps are. Additionally,  you can also figure out how long you take to answer questions and how to manage it accordingly to finish the paper. By the time you reach exams, you will be confident when answering questions as you would know what to expect.

Good luck to everyone doing their exams and believe in yourself!

Written by:

Hello ! My name is Nidhi. I am an international medic studying at University of Dundee.

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