Preparing for exams is not just about learning the subject
It’s also about how you look after yourself to be at your best on exam day.
Everyone has stress around exams, but keeping it in check can leave you alert and ready to perform well.
Here are 10 proven techniques to reduce your stress levels at exam time.
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1. Treat yourself well
2. Study smart
You can’t study all day, every day.
Your brain likes short study sessions (30-40 mins) with regular breaks (5-10 minutes). Plan your study into small chunks that gradually move you towards being prepared by exam day.
Don't be afraid of stress
Stress is a normal part of exams
The right amount helps you perform. But if your stress is too high, take action to dial it down. Focus on what you can control, like your study schedule or asking your teacher questions when you’re confused. Breaking big things down into small tasks will help you feel less overwhelmed.
4. Release stress regularly
You need to release stress regularly
Stress builds up and stays in your body. Exercise, try a meditation app, take a walk in nature or drop into the RMIT Calm Zone on the city campus.
5. Talk yourself up
6. Keep it in perspective
This exam doesn’t define you
It doesn't determine your future career success. Even if you don’t do as well as you’d like, there are always other ways forward. Be aware when your worries snowball into a catastrophe that hasn’t actually happened yet, and come back to the present moment.
7. Stay connected
If you’re feeling really stressed or anxious, don’t keep it to yourself.
When you’re in study mode, it’s tempting to withdraw from others to give you more time to study. But you need your people to stay grounded. Chat to someone you trust about it.
8. Remember to breathe
When we get stressed and anxious, our breathing becomes short and shallow
This actually makes us feel more stressed and anxious. In the exam, practice slow and deep breathing to stay calm (in for 3 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, out for 3 seconds).