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How to deal with exam stress

Instead of reaching for a snack to relax, try doing something you enjoy. Picture: Pexels/Pixabay

Instead of reaching for a snack to relax, try doing something you enjoy. Picture: Pexels/Pixabay

Published Jun 9, 2022

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Exam stress affects most learners in different ways. It is important to manage this stress and find ways to eliminate the risk of burnout. For some learners, exams can be a breeze, but for others, sweaty palms and heart palpitations are just a part of the territory, and it seems that nothing is more impossible than sitting down and revising. Below are some handy tips that can help to reduce stress and make sure you can get through this exam season.

1. Take regular breaks and schedule fun things to look forward to

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Even the most intense exam timetables will allow a little time for a study break. Spending a little time away from the books will leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed the next time you revise.

2. Exercise and get outdoors

Go for a walk or a run, or head to the gym or swimming pool. Exercise is known to boost your mood and can help to make you more productive while revising.

3. Don’t listen to others

As the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. While it is helpful to discuss topics with fellow students and often to revise together, try not to compare other people’s revision to your own. If they themselves are stressed this can rub off on you and other people’s stress is not what you need right now.

4. Speak to someone

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If the stress gets to a point where it is overwhelming and it is affecting your day-to-day life, speak to someone about it.

It's natural to feel some exam nerves but don't panic. The quickest and most effective way to eliminate feelings of stress and panic is to close your eyes and take several long, slow deep breaths. Give yourself a mental pep talk by repeating “I am calm” or “I know I will do fine”.

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