How to cope with exam anxiety

For some people the thought of sitting exams fills them with dread and prevents them from achieving their academical potential as they avoid studying subjects that require a final exam assessment. There are however steps that can be taken to minimise this anxiety and make the prospect of sitting an exam less stressful overall.

Being well prepared for the exam by having revised appropriately can help to boost confidence as can being part of a study group where revision is shared by students undertaking the same course.

On the day of the exam it is vital to have had sufficient sleep the night before even though this may seem difficult. By using relaxation techniques and meditation this is achievable. Eating a healthy but light meal is a good idea and keeping hydrated with water or juice is also advisable.

Breathing exercises have been shown to relieve anxiety symptoms and instructions for how to perform them correctly can be found online. Arriving ten minutes early to the exam location is advisable as nothing builds tension like rushing in at the last minute but avoid talking to others who may be showing anxiety instead play a game on your phone or read a magazine.

Remember that most people feel nervous before tests and reward yourself with a treat when the exam is over.

How to enhance your exam performance by revision

Whether you are taking examinations at the end of your secondary education or at a higher level you will have been encouraged to revise the curriculum you have been studying to further your chances of getting good grades but it is difficult to know where to begin and what strategies are most effective.

Most teachers and tutors will be able to guide you on the essential knowledge that you will need to have and also on frequently asked questions that may be posed but this should only be considered as a guide as they will not have prior knowledge themselves.

The best approach is to write down the key points of the area you are studying as a reminder. This will usually be enough to enable you to recall the detail if needed. Mnemonics are useful to help remember important phrases or lists and have been used throughout education as an effective learning tool. Some students find that sticky notes placed around the house can be a good strategy when it comes to recalling facts as it almost becomes a subliminal way of learning.

Working with another person can be a helpful way to revise especially if you are both sitting the same exams as you can test each other on facts whilst also revising content yourself.

Stressful times ahead as GCSE’s and A-Levels loom

The start of the year is often a stressful time for students who will be completing their A-levels or GCSE’s in May and June. With only a short time left before the exams start across the country, many students are trying to cram in revision as well as carry on with their lessons.
Undertaking revision has been proven to help improve grades and give pupils confidence when they head in to an exam, but often many people get overly worried and find revision too much.
When thinking about revision it is important to plan it out and come up with a timetable that also allows for downtime when you can put down the books and do something you enjoy.
Creating a timetable of what days and times you are going to do revision and then splitting it down further in to the subjects you are going to revise on which days can help you start with a clear mind.
Often schools, colleges and universities also try and focus the classes more on revision during the run up to these exams.
If you find that you are struggling then working with a friend can make revision less daunting and help you both practise what you need to.

Teaching your child to cope with exam stress

From a very young age children are expected to undertake some sort of exams. The first official ones often happen in year one when your child may do a phonics check. This is a very informal test which is done in a classroom environment where you child will be asked to read out a certain list of words. Not all of the words are really words, and it is used to check their understanding of sounding out. The following year your child will do their first SATS exams. Again in Key stage one these are quite informal but some children can still get very worried about them. Throughout the rest of their school life they will again be tested at regular intervals and in year 11 will do their GCSE’s.
It is very important that you talk to your children about exams and their worries and help to reassure them. Early tests and exams are often done without the children really being aware of them but you may still want to talk to them about it. Some parents feel it is better not to say anything but if your child is already mentioning it or has questions it is better for them to feel they can talk to you.
Helping your child come up with a revision schedule and trying to ensure they stick to it can help take away the feeling of stress. If you are struggling ask their teacher for some advice as to how they can structure revision and what you can do to help aid it.

Coping with the stress of exams

It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many exams you have done, put anyone in those sorts of sterile exam conditions with the added pressure of a time limit and it’s enough to put the most level-headed person into a state of heightened anxiety.

With this in mind it is therefore perfectly normal to feel that way during a period of exams at school or college. You want to do well and may be worried of the outcome of the exam and how it will effect future life decisions such as attending a university of your choice or getting a certain job.

Without being able to eliminate these stresses it is important to understand how to deal with them and below are some tips that can help.

Meditation can really help to clear and relax the mind, if you struggle to do this there are many online videos and media tracks that can help you to do this in your own time at home.

Staying active will also help and light exercise such as going for a walk will boost your blood flow and the fresh air will help to clear your head.

Good preparation is key to doing well in your exams so careful planning and revision will give you all the tools you need for a good grade.

Eating well is also very important as foods such as oily fish with omega 3 and high proteins can actually help your concentration levels. Avoid high carb high fat foods as these can make you feel tired and sluggish.