Avoid exam stress: Six tips on keeping cool and calm

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As exam time rears its ugly head once more, we look at some ways of avoiding exam stress.

Here are our top six ways on trying to keep a cool head, stay focused and getting those all important grades.

Be prepared

The best to avoid stress is to know what's coming and be prepared for it.

Know exactly what exams you'll be sitting and when and make sure you're clued up on what you're going to be tested on. Look at past papers, ask your friends and consult your tutor on the exam and its format: Is an oral exam? Will it be essay based? How many parts is it? How long do you have? Do you have to answer all the questions?

The more you know before you head into the exam room the better you can revise and the less likely you are to get confused or make mistakes. You don't want to become one of those students who rushes to answer every question, only to find out you only had to pick one. Yes, it really does happen just as your tutor says.

Get coursework out of the way

This one almost goes without saying, but be sure to complete and finish any coursework as soon as you can. You don't want coursework deadlines looming over you during your exam revision and in the run up to the exams themselves.

Even if your coursework may not be due for a while, it's best to knuckle down and get working it on as soon as you can so you can dedicate your time to your exams.

This will also allow to focus the time needed on your coursework, get a good mark and in turn allow you to relax a little for the exam.

Plan ahead!

Create yourself a revision timetable and stick to it. It'll help keep yourself focused and on task, and it will mean you won't waste time every day deciding what to (or what not to) revise.

Give yourself a break

All revision and no play makes for a stress student. Make sure you give yourself regular breaks from revision and even a whole day or two off now and then. Whether you decide to spend it enjoying the sun, socialising or just sleeping in, enjoy your time off and make sure to avoid any work at all!

Stay fit

Throughout your revision and exams it pays to stay fit. This doesn't mean going to the gym every day for a full workout, but just be sensible.

Ditch the booze and late nights and be sure to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. Make sure to eat breakfast - or at least something - on the day of your exams and during intense revision sessions.

Don't beat yourself up

Finally, don't dwell on your mistakes. If you do feel as you though you've messed up on an exam, put it behind you and move on.

Always focus on the future and your upcoming exams, rather than those you've already completed, not only will it demotivate you, you'll end up getting distracted and just a bit depressed.

After all, chances are you probably done a lot better than you feared.

What are some of your tips to avoid exam stress? Share them in the comments below!

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

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