Staying Calm (Before Exams!)

If you are anything like me, even the slightest mention of the word “exam” or “test” sets off a series of panic alarms in a matter of a few seconds. It’s almost as if my whole being decides to drop everything its doing and zoom in on the dreadful reality that I have to prepare for this exam in the next couple of days. What I’ve realised over the past few months of repeatedly going through this process is that despite how hard you’ve worked, your mentality is the key to actually staying calm and relaxed.

As suggested by this article and many others, you are more likely to perform better when you are calm and collected!

Here are some tips and tricks that I have found useful in order to stay relaxed and calm before an exam:

  • First and foremost – knowing the content (or at least most of it), so that you feel as though you can manage questions that are thrown at you from any direction of the syllabus or study guide.
  • Doing some last minute revision – this is NOT where you begin studying for the exam the night before, it’s when you revise what you’ve been studying over the past few days. It gives you the assurance that you know the content.
  • Talk to a few friends about it – they are in the same boat as you are, discuss some things that stress all of you out and solve it either in a group chat or Skype.
  • Eat something before you sit the exam – being full and satisfied helps you to panic less.
  • Keep your schedule organised but packed with things to do – so that you are busy and make more use of your study time but also don’t spend time worrying about the exam.
  • Try not to think of the consequences of the result you might get when studying – study in order to get through the exam, so that it’s complete, done and dusted.
  • Make sure your teachers know where you’re at in terms of the subject matter – make sure to ask them if you are unsure – try to do this as soon as possible!

So the trick here is to believe that you have worked hard enough to get through this stressful period (obviously, this is way more true if you actually do work hard, but its also important in case you haven’t had the chance to put as much effort as you would’ve liked).

It’s important to realise that some study goals we set ourselves are unrealistic, and the only way we can deal with not completing some of these tasks is to BELIEVE that we can still get through the exam period without getting them done.

If you go into an exam or some form of assessment believing that you have not done any work for it or don’t deserve anything above a simple pass, trust me, it will impact the way you choose to answer the exam. Therefore no matter what you have or haven’t done, go into an exam with the mindset with which you believe you are able to accomplish anything.

Stay Calm! Best Wishes!


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