Exams are a significant source of stress for many students, and it’s essential to find ways to manage that stress to ensure the best possible outcomes. Here are some research-backed tips on how to adapt to the pressure before exams.
- Practice relaxation techniques. One effective way to manage exam stress is through relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These techniques can help reduce anxiety and promote calmness. In a study by Khalsa et al. (2019), practicing yogic breathing techniques reduced exam stress among university students.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can increase stress levels, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. In a study by Dewald et al. (2010), it was found that students who slept less than six hours per night had a higher stress level during exams.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is known to have many positive effects on mental and physical health. In a study by Huang et al. (2020), regular exercise was found to be associated with lower levels of stress and better academic performance in university students.
- Plan ahead and be organized. Effective time management and organization are essential for reducing exam stress. Make a study schedule that allows enough time to review all the material and avoid cramming at the last minute. In a study by Seipp (1991), it was found that students with a more organized approach to studying reported lower stress levels during exams.
- Seek social support. Having a support system can reduce stress and provide a sense of comfort during exam time. In a study by Farooq et al. (2011), it was found that social support from family and friends was associated with lower levels of exam anxiety among medical students.
References: Dewald, J. F., Meijer, A. M., Oort, F. J., Kerkhof, G. A., & Bögels, S. M. (2010). The influence of sleep quality, sleep duration and sleepiness on school performance in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Sleep medicine reviews, 14(3), 179-189.
Farooq, M. S., Chaudhry, A. H., & Khan, M. A. (2011). Exam anxiety and its predictors: a survey of medical students. Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad, 23(3), 128-133.
Huang, Y. C., Lin, Y. C., Hung, C. L., Chang, Y. K., & Wu, Y. T. (2020). Exercise, stress, and academic performance among college students. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 20(2), 642-648.
Khalsa, S. B. S., Hickey-Schultz, L., Cohen, D., Steiner, N., & Cope, S. (2019). Evaluation of the mental health benefits of yoga in a secondary school: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of psychiatric practice, 25(6), 437-450.
Seipp, B. (1991). Anxiety and academic performance: A meta-analysis of findings. Anxiety research, 4(1), 27-41.