How to stay calm during exam season

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The month of May brings the beginning of exam season for students coming to the end of their GCSEs, A Levels or Degree. Preparing for an important exam can often leave students feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. These emotions can be counter productive and have a huge effect on a students ability to perform to their potential. However, it is really important to understand that these emotions are normal and students going through this are more than likely not alone.

Read the 5 tips below to help you understand how you can stay calm during exam season and beat the pressure that exams can bring.

Stay positive

A positive attitude can bring huge benefits to the outcome of your exams. Having self belief will ensure you are confident with your abilities and help you to trust yourself during an exam. More often than not, students who have little self-belief in their abilities will talk themselves into believing they can't achieve their potential. A positive attitude can also help to prevent factors like stress or anxiety. If you keep a clear mind and a positive outlook on the future, you are more likely to be relaxed about the situation.

Get enough sleep

You might not think so, but sleep can play a huge part in feeling relaxed and calm during a stressful period of time. Getting the right amount of sleep will allow your mind to rest. This is especially important during the revision period, where your brain may be more active than normal. It has been proven that stress or anxiety can prevent you from falling asleep. To prevent this from happening, think about: Turning off your phone before your bed time, having a set time where you will stop revising and stay away from drinking caffeine or energy drinks before you are due to go to sleep. It is recommended that you get at least 8 hours sleep to feel at your best the next day. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, you can find more tips here.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Staying healthy also plays a big part in relieving stress or anxiety. It is really important that you maintain a healthy diet by consuming food and drink that are going to benefit you. Super foods that are packed with nutrients, vitamins and protein may all have a positive effect on your brain performance and energy levels. Exercising is also a great way to let off some steam and clear your mind. Staying active will also give you something different to focus on to give your brain a break from revision.

Understand symptoms of mental health

Exam stress can effect anyone and it is important to remember that you are not alone at this time. We recommend completing some research on the symptoms of exam stress or anxiety. Symptoms can include: Experiencing headaches or feeling unwell, struggling to sleep, struggling to eat because of how you feel, having a negative attitude towards the future or not being able to enjoy things because you are feeling overwhelmed about your exams. For more information about the symptoms of exam stress or anxiety, click here. If you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please talk to somebody about how you are feeling. It may be tough, but people are here to help. Try talking to a family member or friend, a teacher or a councillor on sites such as Childline or Mind.

Take time out

Taking a break from your revision is really important. A lot of students often feel under pressure to constantly be revising or preparing for their exams. Spending too much time revising can be counter productive and can also consume too much or your energy and brain power. If you have organised a revision timetable, remember to schedule in reasonable breaks in between sessions. We recommend organising an activity with friends or family so that you have something to look forward to that will keep your mind off the revision for a while.

We hope the tips above help you to remain calm during this exams season. If you need any further assitance, you can read the 'Beat Exam Stress Guide' written by Childline.