Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety

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We are at that time of year again. When all the examinations are starting, and a whole load of people are going around filled with apprehension and nerves. Are you or your child about to sit examinations? Then here are a few helpful ways of dealing with exam stress and anxiety.

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Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety

Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety

Over the years I have dealt with examination stress and anxiety many times. During my lifetime I have sat innumerable exams and tests. My school days were littered with tests and I did the obligatory GCSE and A levels needed to progress in my chosen career.

As an undergraduate dental student, we were constantly told that we were one of the most examined courses in the university. I worked out that I probably sat over 100 tests and examinations in just 5 years of my undergraduate course!

And further to this I am a singer, and so have gone in for countless auditions and recalls.

Along with all these exams comes those oh-so familiar feelings.

  •  nerves
  • sweaty palms
  • butterflies / palpitations
  • a ‘fight or flight’ sensation that a surge of adrenaline brings.

You might be tearful, or feel that you cannot cope. These feelings are all normal. And it is ok to feel like this, as probably everyone around you feels the same. It’s just that some people put on a better front. Or have strategies to help cope with it all.

But what can you do to help dealing with exam stress and anxiety?

If You Are Doing The Exam

1. Be Prepared

Do try and be as prepared as you can. Revise or do the preparation for whatever test you are taking. Seeking guidance from reputable sources like Value Colleges can offer valuable insights and strategies to enhance your performance and overall success.

But do also remember to rest, take exercise and look after yourself by eating healthily and staying hydrated.

2. Get Good Sleep

It may be hard if you are particularly worried, but try to get a full quota of sleep in, even if this means making sure you get to bed a little earlier.

Here are some tips for getting the best nights sleep

3. Be Kind To Yourself

It is not the end of the world if you have a bad days revision, or just aren’t good when it comes to exam day. Remember that you are doing the best you can. And talk to yourself the way that you would be kind to a friend in the same situation.

4. Remember to Keep Things In Perspective.

It may feel that it is the most important thing in the world to pass these exams. And yes, they are important. But there are many more ways to get on in this world than just having these results.

See my post here on why exam results are not always that important.

5. Don’t Overanalyse

After the exam, don’t hang around with others doing a ‘post mortem’ of the experience. Get out and draw a line under what has happened. It will possibly just make you more anxious if you feel that you have made errors, and affect any future examinations you have.

6. If It Gets Too Much, Talk To Someone

Hopefully you have someone around who can listen to you, even if it just to sympathise. Do talk to someone if you feel way out of your depth. And they will probably say the same as points 3 and 4 above…

Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety

If You Know Someone Who Is Dealing With Exam Stress and Anxiety

1. Offer A Listening Ear.

I can just help to know that you are there if needed. Or to act as a soundboard. Some people learn by teaching others, so maybe even offer to have parts of the subject explained to you.

(I have lost count of the number of people I’ve practiced singing my audition songs to)

2. Give Practical Support

Make the exam subject their favourite breakfast on exam day. Ensure they get enough sleep. Make sure they take breaks from revising (but that they also crack on and prepare too!)  Reassure them how exam results are not necessarily the only way to get ahead in the world. Just be there.

60 Positive Motivational Quotes - be gentle on yourself - you are doing the best that you can

On The Day Of The Exam

Try and get up in plenty of time, have a calm routine for getting up and getting to your exam or test. Have a good breakfast. Do some stretches to wake up your whole body.

In fact see here for some more positive ways to start the day

And whether you are taking the exams, or have a child who is, why not organise a few things to look forwards to for after the exam days? Giving something to look forward to reminds us all that there is more to life than these exams and their results.

See here why it is sometimes better to do GCSE at college instead of at school.

Good Luck, and I hope the day goes well.

Need some teacher gift ideas? Find some here.

Why not pin this post for later?

Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety


16 Replies to “Dealing With Exam Stress And Anxiety”

  1. Kim Carberry says:

    This is fantastic advice.
    My teen is starting her GCSE’s next week and I will keep all of this in mind. She is feeling quite calm at the moment but I am worried that she is too calm and collected.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I hope they all go brilliantly for her Kim. I remember those days so well, even if my GCSEs were over 30 years ago!

  2. Sarah | Mummykind says:

    Some great tips here! Preparation and routine are key to managing exam stress well, and we all get it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  3. Lydia C. Lee says:

    Great tips. One of my kids got so stressed in the lead up to her final exams – and yet was fine in the exams themselves. It was a stress for us all, dealing with it! #KCACOLS

  4. Fiona Cambouropoulos says:

    Good tips, I have kids age 15 – 21 with all the exams that age brings. It is not an easy time. Fingers crossed the weather holds till they all finish for this year #KCACOLS

  5. Twicemicrowaved tea says:

    These are great tips. It’s a long time since I took any exams, but I think preparation is always key. From revising the topic to making sure you have everything you need on the day. #kcacols

  6. Crystal Green says:

    I have never been one who did well on standardized testing. I think I have anxiety over the whole ordeal. I wish I would have had these tips with dealing with them. I’m glad that others can benefit from these tips. #KCACOLS

  7. Claire Rocks says:

    Fantastic advice. Ill show my son who is doing his GCSE’s this. thanks for sharing

  8. Jenna - NorthernBird84 says:

    Great post! I’m starting a course later in the year and I’m nervous about exams and assignments, this is really helpful. #KCACOLS

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Glad it helps. Looking after yourself is just as important as revising!

  9. Bread says:

    Great advice, I always had to have extra time and be in the quiet room for exams during uni. Didn’t help lol! #kcacols

  10. Tracey Bowden says:

    These are great tips. I have always found I have performed well in exams but it has been a long time since I have taken any. I’ll remember these for when it is time for my daughter of take her end of year exams #kcacols

  11. Ali Duke says:

    These are great tips. My daughter has tests at the end of each term, she used to get really stressed out about them, but now just takes them in her stride. When her GCSE’s come up I intend to help her as much as I can.


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