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How can I cope with exam stress?

Posted by Be Well

How can I cope with exam stress?
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Stress is a natural feeling, designed to help us cope in difficult situations. In small amounts, it's good for you because it pushes you to work hard and do your best. The problems come when you have too much stress.

According to mental health charity Mind, signs of too much stress include headaches, sleeping badly, loss of appetite, being unusually bad tempered, feeling tired all the time, feeling sick, feeling restless, finding it difficult to relax or concentrate, drinking or smoking too much, and feelings of panic.

It is important to talk to someone you trust such as a family member, teacher or friend if you're feeling very stressed and worried. Don't be embarrassed to ask for support. You may want to make an appointment with your doctor or school/college nurse or counseling service, especially if you're finding it difficult to eat or sleep properly.

To avoid exam stress make sure you're well prepared. Good planning is the key to success. Get your revision timetable drawn up and try to stick to it. Speak to your teachers to find out if there are past exam papers you can look at, to familiarize yourself with the layout and type of questions you'll be asked. Practise completing the exam paper in the set time limit so you're more confident on the day.

Make time in your day to relax - whether it's half an hour reading a book, or a long bath in the evening. You're more likely to do your best if you relax, and you learn better if you take regular breaks. A positive attitude helps as well. If you know you've done your best, that's all that matters - exams are not the be all and end all.

Sleep and food are vital. Your body needs them for energy so don't skip meals or stay up all night revising. It won't do you any good in the long run because by the time the exam comes, you won't have any energy and your concentration levels will be low. Get some physical exercise every day - this will help keep your mood positive, and help you sleep.

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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