How You Can Deal With Exam Stress
Originally posted on my personal blog.
Hello everyone, today we will discuss about stress management when you are studying for exams, certifications, ... (whether related to school or not) and how to be more organized for this kind of event.
Everyone experiences it differently.
For some, this period when you isolate yourself from the world (when I say "isolate", I'm not talking about becoming a hermit, but about not going out with friends, spending less time in front of the television, ...),
goes quite well, while for others, things are a bit more complicated. Some people get anxious, some others can't motivate themselves, others just struggle with studying.
The goal of such a period is to pass your exams, but there is no question of adding a huge amount of stress to it either. You have to do things peacefully and efficiently so that you don't get overloaded and have a good time, because yes, studying can be fun if you do it right.
Before you start studying seriously
First of all, of course, do whatever you need to do in order to not be disturbed during your study period. It is imperative that you are not disturbed by anything else during this period.
Secondly, stay calm! If you panic before getting to the heart of the matter, you won't be productive and you won't be at 100% of your capabilities!
The key to staying calm can be summed up with just one word: ORGANIZATION !
Make a detailed planning for your study period and during the exam period (if you have more than one exam).
Make sure that your planning is as clear and understandable as possible. Even if you think it's a waste of time, this schedule will give you a global view of your progress and will allow you to adapt yourself in case of unexpected events.
Personally, I don't print it out, because I often readjust my schedule to really focus my time on the important things and I keep a small note where it indicates how many hours are allocated to what.
Let me explain:
Let's say I have a math exam, an accounting exam and a programming exam.
Well, if the programming exam is the heaviest in terms of content, I would allocate 25 hours to it, whereas for math and accounting I would only give 20 hours each. And I will always try to keep the same ratio despite the bad surprises.
Regarding the planning, there is no exact rule. Some people prefer to study several subjects in one day, others prefer to work in blocks and do only one subject per day.
Personally, I would advise you to do only two different subjects per day maximum, you might mix the subjects and not give enough time (in a rush) to each one.
Finally, set yourself some goals! It's important to set yourself goals and to cut your goals into micro-objectives to be able to keep up with the length. For example, for my law exam last January,
I've decided to go one chapter per hour and take a 15-minute break as a reward for each finished chapter.
During these 15 minutes of break, I watch an anime episode or I walk, I look out the window, ... Do the same, your eyes and your back will thank you!
This way I was moving forward at the right rhythm and I allowed myself to relax which is super important to hold the whole duration of this period.
Because despite studying is super important, I will say that rest and especially sleep are the most important things, because with a tired body you won't progress very well...
As the exam approaches...
If you notice that you are getting more and more stressed as exams approach, you are doing something wrong.
Ask yourself the right questions and honestly ask yourself why this stress? If it's because you don't feel ready, take the time to wonder why, adapt your schedule to the subjects you're the least ready for, and even ask the advice of a classmate or someone close to you if possible. Someone else's opinion may open your eyes to something you never suspected.
However, it's obvious that there's no point in studying for hours the night before an exam, focus on others, and take the exam to see what kinds of questions are waiting for you on your next attempt.
As mentioned above, it is very important to get enough sleep the night before the exam, so pack your bag the night before.
I also like to get to the exams 15-30 minutes early. That way, if something goes wrong on the way, I am on time and if nothing has happened, I have time to calmly read my course again and even ask questions to people around me in certain situations.
You will also be more relaxed when you start your exam.
During the exam
Firstly, write your name, first name ... (It sounds obvious, but admit that you have already forgotten 😂)
the second piece of advice is one that I don't often follow, but I often bite my fingers afterwards.
Secondly, take the time to read each question one by one to get the full picture.
Start directly with the questions that seem obvious and leave the more complex ones for later.
If you don't have a watch, don't hesitate to ask several times how much time you have left, as time tends to be misjudged when you are so intensely focused.
Don't spend too much time on questions you are not sure about, give priority to questions that require less thought in order to be able to provide as much information as possible in the time available.
After the exam
Whether the exam went well or not, it's best not to think about it too much.
I never study directly after an exam, I rather spend 1-2 hours talking with friends or take a nap to be ready for the next one.
Of course, all this is subjective and everyone has their own way, I have mentioned here, the working method that I personally use when I study seriously (which doesn't happen often, despite the intention 😂).
LAST TIP : Hydrate yourself! It's very important and it allows you to avoid being constantly in front of your screen or your sheets.