Stressed with exams? Here’s some top student advice

BPP University student blogger, Tola Hassan, discusses the stresses of exams and how to keep those nerves at bay.

As we all know, the first week of May can come with a lot of anxiety, nerves and stress. It is human nature to stress about the things you cannot control – EXAMS! It is also human nature, or should I say a student’s nature, to prioritize revision over other commitments during these stressful weeks. This could mean missing out on social events and other activities that you might otherwise be doing.

I guess the thing about students is that we can tend to deal with exams in a negative way.  Since as far back as I can remember, exams have always been associated with negativity, partly because of the pressure we put on ourselves.

Personally, I think stress can sometimes be a motivator. I know it crazy but the more I stress out about exams, the more motivated I am to revise. But it is also easy for my stress levels to get out of hand; I start to lose focus, lose out on sleep and I can feel extremely drained. Therefore, it is important to address this and get my emotions back under control. My personal mantra is that ‘there is no point stressing about the things that I cannot change’, so I learn to be content with the fact that my exams are coming (after all, they are inevitable) and hope to do well.

I find it helpful to give myself a little pep talk; I tell myself that although these exams are important, they aren’t everything. I tell myself that I have tried my best and that is all I can do; I tell myself to relax and try not to panic. This little pep talk is reassuring and helps me from blowing exams out of proportion, I would seriously recommend doing it before and after each exam.

It is important to set study goals and create your own routine. Make a timetable that is detailed, so that each hour of revision is loosely structured. Having a routine will help you to focus and you should be able to manage your time effectively. Arriving at your desk with no idea where to begin could completely demotivate you.

It’s also important to schedule breaks and activities aside from revision into your routine. Exercise, for example, is really important while revising. It release hormones into the body that increase your awareness and therefore your ability to concentrate for longer. However, if you’re not a gym person, there’s still plenty you can do in your breaks from revision. Perhaps, drawing, knitting, listening to some music away from your desk or just getting some fresh air.

Remember, there are things that we cannot change and exams are one of those things. Rather than dwelling on the exam, spend time relaxing and motivate yourself by thinking positively. Don’t over criticize yourself, instead reward yourself for all your hard work. All you can do is know you have done your best, and enjoy a well-earned break over summer!

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