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.