Written by Hilly Janes (A health editor at The Times)
Selected and edited by Cao yaofeng (An English teacher of HM School)
Exam stress, like most stress, mainly comes down to feeling out of control. Do I know enough? What questions will come up? What if I do badly? This triggers reactions from feeling irritable to being unable to eat or sleep properly, feeling tearful or even panicky. Here are some tips on how to deal with exam stress.
Make sure you know what you are supposed to have learned and that you have all your notes and homework to hand. Do you know what format the exam takes and how the marks are allocated? If not, ask your teacher and/or study the marking scheme, which is often on the exam board’s website.
2.Make a plan
Working out how much time you have to revise and planning how you can use it best by making a timetable is a key factor in how to deal with exam stress. Perhaps you need to spend more time on some subjects than others? Vary the timetable so you don’t get bored. You can always update the plan, if necessary, as you go along.
3.Know when and where you work best
Work when you are most alert. We all have slightly different body clocks – are you a night owl or a dawn lark? Everyone has different revision styles – maybe you like to sit at a tidy library desk or on the floor with your laptop. Wherever you feel calm and in control is the best place for dealing with exam stress.
Tossing and turning the night before an exam is understandable, and our bodies are able to cope with lack of sleep for a day orso. Worrying about not being able to nod off only makes matters worse but there are many things you can do to help. A hot bath and having somewhere dedicated just to sleeping (and not to watching TV or going on a computer, phone or tablet) will help you switch off. If you really can’t get to sleep, do something repetitive like a jigsaw.
5.Talk about it with someone
Almost everyone finds exams stressful – so you are not alone. Expressing your worries to a good friend, family member, your teacher will help get them out of your system.
Build in treats to your timetable – anything you canlook forward to as a reward for sticking to it. Plan something exciting to celebrate the end of the exams.
7.Keep it in perspective
If you feel you have really messed up an exam, there’s nothing you can do until you get the results. Worrying about it won’t help –and may reduce your chances of doing well in other exams you are taking. Think about what you could do about a disappointing result – that will help you fee in control.
In short, it’s great to do well in exams. But remember that exams aren’t the only thing that will help you succeed in life. Employers will be equally interested in other things, like your attitude, work-rate or ability to get on with others.