There’s no getting away from it, revising for and taking exams is stressful for most people. But there are a few things you can do to reduce the pressure.
You are less likely to be stressed if you feel prepared, but be careful if you have a tendency to overdo it, that could leave you feeling worse. Avoid last-minute cramming the night before an exam. If it’s all getting too much, forget the revision plan and do something completely different.
Try to take some exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be long, a short walk will help clear your head.
We’re often being told about special brain foods, but a healthy diet with fruit and veg, plus plenty of water, is fine. Don’t overdo the energy drinks and make sure you have breakfast.
Sleeping well is important. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep during the exam period, try some breathing exercises such as breathing in for four, holding for five, and then breathing out for six. Also try to follow a routine – going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. And remember, stay away from your phones and screens before bedtime.
Constantly checking Snapchat or Instagram can be distracting and stressful if the only topic is exams. Try to restrict checking devices to certain times of the day.
Mindfulness, meditation or yoga may help you to calm your nerves. You can download apps for all of them, so see what works best for you.
You don't want to be running round looking for a calculator or a black pen on the morning of the exam, so get everything ready the night before. Set an alarm so you have enough time on the morning to get to the exam hall in time.
If you come out of an exam thinking it’s gone badly, try not to dwell on it (and don’t go into any chat rooms). Focus on the next one.
You might feel like parents or carers are just there to nag about revision. Try suggesting specific ways they can support you, such as by testing you on a topic or by helping you take a healthy break from revision.