exam stress

Exams. The one word that strikes fear in the hearts of students everywhere. No one likes exams yet all of us have to face it one way or the other. Exam times come with immense stress and palpable fear that threatens to overwhelm even the best of us. However, there are many ways to help you handle exam stress and we will let you in on these tried and proven methods. Read on to find out.

How To Reduce Exam Anxiety

Know Your Course Plan

The first thing that you must do before preparing for your exams is to know on what topics you will be tested on. This way you will know exactly what to study and how much you need to know. Listen to your teachers during lessons to know which topics you will be tested on, so you have a rough idea about your study content.

Ask your teacher for clarification on the content of the course plan if necessary.

Ensure You Have all the Materials

Now that you know what you have to study, the next thing is to check whether you have all the notes, books, mock tests, assignments that you will be studying from. Now’s the time to collect and arrange all the lectures you have missed.

Half of your work is done if all your study materials are ready and organised. This will also make your studying easy and quicker.

Know the Exam Dates

We have all woken up from nightmares of being late to exams or missing the exam completely. Avoid this nightmare turning into a reality by knowing the dates of your exams and the timings of your exams. Remember, sometimes exams may not start at the same time everyday or you may have multiple exams at once. So keep this in mind when you prepare for your exams.

It is a good idea to hang a copy of your exam schedule at your study desk so that it is always in your sight. It will also serve as a motivation for you to study.

Share Your Worries

You may be well prepared but it is okay to be anxious before the exams. However, if it becomes too overwhelming, talking to someone about it will help you feel better. Share your doubts with your close friends, siblings, parents or even friendly teachers you are comfortable with.

You can also discuss your progress today and compare it to the goal set to motivate you. .

Don’t Compare Yourself with Friends

You need to realize that everyone studies differently and at their own pace. Don’t panic if you have covered only two chapters whereas your friend finished five chapters. This doesn’t necessarily make you worse. Your main aim should be to understand and study at your own pace and grasp the concepts and knowledge. It is better to study two chapters a day that you have properly understood instead of skimming through ten chapters where you won’t be able to recall anything.

Prepare Yourself Before the D-Day

Start Early

You have heard this a thousand times yet this golden rule has always proven to be true. An early start will let you cover topics at a relaxed pace with ample revision time. You will be more relaxed when you know you have covered and revised all the material.

Make a Timetable

A timetable will help you organize your workload and let you spend more time on topics that need more work or are difficult. Remember to make realistic routines that you can stick to regularly. Unrealistic routines that are difficult to keep up with are demoralising and will slow your progress.

Your routine should also include breaks for food, activites, chores and relaxation to help you manage your time better.

Allocate Study Time

Time how much you will study in one session and arrange topics according to importance. Keep more time for difficult topics, it is better to study lengthier topics over a period of days instead of one day to help you grasp and recall better. You should also decide when you want to study. If you study better in the evening, keep the difficult topics for the evening and easier topics for the morning.

Highlight The Important Topics

You have many subjects to study for and each subject has its own vast syllabus you need to tackle. The mountain of topics to study may seem never-ending, however, one way to overcome this mountain is to know the most important topics. Teachers mention in class the most frequently examined topics in class, make a note of them. Highlight them when studying. This is incredibly helpful during revision period when it is impossible to go through everything.

Shuffle Subjects

Studying the same subject the whole day will be monotonous and in turn slow down your progress. Instead study one subject in the morning and a different one in the evening. This will help you complete preparing on topics from different subjects on the same day.

Create Targets & Set Rewards

Think of games, don’t you get excited when you achieve a target level and get rewarded for it? The same principle can be applied to studies, your progress will be faster if you have something rewarding to look forward to later such as watching your favourite TV show, playing a game or even a chocolate treat.

Draw Flowcharts

Visual stimulations leave the most lasting impressions on the brain. Thus pictures, diagram, flowcharts will help you remember points better than lengthy paragraphs. Make a flowchart of the relating important points while studying, this will make you understand the lesson and remember them.

Solve Past Questions

Solving previous years exams and mock tests will give you an idea of the type of questions you will face and how to best answer them. You will get to time yourself with these mock tests as well..


This point cannot be stressed enough. Multiple revisions will reinforce your memory and you will feel confident.

The Night Before Exam

Revise the Important Topics

This is when the highlights will help. Just skim through them the night before to jog your memory.

Prepare Your Stationery

Extra pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, geometry boxes are the basic essentials that must be there. Additionally, for subjects like maths and physics, you might also need extra tools like graphing calculators. Gone are the good old days of doing everything manually which is not only time consuming but can also lead to incorrect answers under the exam stress.

Sleep Early

Having a clear head is essential for a good exam. So be sure to hit the bed early the night before. A sleep deprived, groggy head will not be able to comprehend questions or compose correct answers.

Tackle The Exam Head-On

Eat a Good Breakfast

An empty stomach will not be able to fuel the brain. Include eggs and a glass of milk in your breakfast before you march onto the examination battlefield.

Get To Examination Hall Ahead of Time

This will prevent last minute anxiety due to rush and help calm your nerves. Try to stay Calm and keep a positive attitude towards the exam and take a deep breath before starting or when you are stuck. Finish any bathroom business beforehand.

Read Instructions

This is absolutely crucial. Students often miss out or write out extra answers because they misread instructions. Some questions may be mandatory to answer so keep that in mind. Even if you don’t complete the answers try to at least attempt all questions for partial marks.

Check the time left regularly and only spend a specific set of minutes on each question and no longer. Skip and return back for questions you can’t answer. Keep time aside for revision, you are bound to make mistakes.

Self-Care is Essential

Even machines breakdown if worked continuously. If you overwork, you will likely burnout yourself which would do more harm than good. Therefore set aside some time to recuperate before and after exams. This includes adequate sleep, a balanced diet and exercise such as stretching or meditation will prevent monotony. And remember to enjoy yourself after exams


An early start to your preparations and a positive attitude will go great a long way to make you feel less anxious before exams. Exam jitters are inevitable but don’t let them get the best of you. Let the vacation after exams and good marks motivate you to give your best. May the odds be in your favour. Best of luck!


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