How To Beat Exam Stress & Anxiety - Cambridge News

Just recently I've seen a large increase in the number of calls and clients I'm speaking to about exam stress and anxiety. With mock exams timetabled for early in the New Year, and final exams following in the summer, many students find that their stress and anxiety levels rise so intensely that they can't perform to their potential.

Some students find that the stress stops them concentrating, whilst others feel sick or a sense of dread at the thought of sitting in the exam room. And all those exam anxiety thoughts and feelings can really hinder effective revision and study, as well as creating worries about feeling unwell or going blank in the exam.

I was delighted to once again appear in the Cambridge News earlier this year. This time my article was all around how to beat exam stress and anxiety. With exam time fast approaching, I wanted to share a few tips on how students can perform to their potential in the exam room.

As I have written about in previous articles, there is a free guide to overcoming exam stress, anxiety and fear available from this website. The guide covers ways to ease any stress and anxiety so you can perform to your potential, feeling calm, confident and in control around your exams.

With Childline reporting a huge increase in the number of students calling them about exam stress, it has never been more important that we share ways to manage the exam period successfully. 

So if you, or someone you know, have exams coming up then be sure to point them in the direction of my free guide and the Cambridge News article (link below).

 

 7 Ways To Beat Exam Stress & Anxiety

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You can read my Cambridge News article here: 7 Ways To Beat Exam Stress and Anxiety

To get your copy of my free guide just head over to this page of my website: Exam Stress & Anxiety Help

Ease Exam Stress & Anxiety 

Use these strategies and techniques to stay calm and focused so you can perform to your potential in your exams:

1. Naturally Calm The Stress: 

When you feel stressed and anxious your breathing gets shallower and faster, and you may start feeling more on edge and restless. You may also find yourself starting to sweat, shake and feel sick or like you need to go to the toilet. Reverse this by using your inbuilt relaxation response - make your out breath longer for a few breaths and you will soon start feeling calmer and more in control. You can easily do this by breathing in for a slow mental count of 7 and out for a slow count of 11 and repeating it.

2. Use Your Thinking:

When stress, anxiety and fear (or any strong emotions) take over, we lose the ability to think clearly and logically like we do when we feel calm and in control. Every part of us seems to want to move, do something or get out of where we are. Rather than being controlled by emotion, we want to start making the thinking part of our brain work harder – this calms the stress and interrupts unwanted thoughts.

When you find yourself experiencing unhelpful thoughts and feelings about your exams, immediately start counting backwards in your head from 300 in 3s (300...297...294...etc). This will quickly interrupt those unwanted thoughts and help you start thinking more clearly and feeling calmer.

3. Make Time To Move:

No matter how much work you feel you have to get done, you will be more productive and effective if you take regular breaks. Give all that stress and anxiety an outlet by getting out every day for at least one 10-15 minute walk. While you are walking, give your mind time off from exams by paying attention to what you can see and hear around you. If you can, vary your routes so you are more engaged in what is around you.

4. Cover The Basics:

Throughout the exam period, make sure that you eat healthily, keep caffeine levels in check and stick to a healthy sleep pattern (such as turning off screens and stopping work at least 45 minutes before sleep). If you find unhelpful thoughts are keeping you awake, download or invest in an app or audio that will help you mentally switch off.

5. Worst, Best & Likely:

If you find yourself thinking the worst each time you think about your exams, then start to dilute those thoughts by thinking of not only the worst case but also the best case scenario. Then ask yourself, realistically, what is most likely to happen? Start to challenge any runaway negative thoughts by doing this consistently.

6. Prepare for Success:

Rather than using your imagination to focus on what you don’t want to happen, start to vividly imagine being calm and confident in the exam hall. When you feel relaxed, start to imagine watching yourself going successfully through your exam, feeling calm, confident and focused. The more you do this, the more you prime your mind to automatically feel this way before and during your exam.

7. Talk To Someone:

If you are concerned about the thoughts and feelings you are having and you feel you are overwhelmed or struggling then please talk to someone you trust about it rather than suffering in silence.  

To your exam success!

Dan Regan

Have some of themes here about exam stress and anxiety resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:

1. If exam anxiety and stress are holding you back and you want to go into your exams feeling calm and confident then grab your free guide here:

Exam Stress and Anxiety - Free Guide

2. Looking for expert help to overcome fear, dread and worry so you can perform to the best of your ability in your exams? You can book your complimentary strategy session here:

Complimentary Strategy Session