Exam Stress and Study Skills



With exams looming it is easy to let stress take over. Normal levels of stress can help you work, think faster and more effectively, and generally improve your performance.   However, if the anxiety you are experiencing feels overwhelming, your performance can be affected.   Being aware of what is causing the anxiety can help reduce its effects.
Anxiety can cause:
  • Patchy sleep and sleepless nights
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Poor appetite or comfort eating
  • Tendency to drink more coffee and alcohol and to smoke more
You need to mind yourself, relax and revise.
Plan Your Revision
  • Set aside plenty of time for revision
  • Sort through your notes, essays and reports, and focus on the essential material
  • Think about questions you might expect to find in your exam.   Exam papers are available on the library website.
  • There are great books on study skills available in the library, e.g Stella Cottrell’s The Study Skills Handbook
Take Proper Breaks
  • Studying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will make you exhausted – burnt out even – long before the actual exam
  • Plan to have one day a week completely free from revision
  • Your brain needs energy and it also needs rest: get enough sleep and eat well.
Make some time for relaxation.
Some healthy ways to relax could include some of the following:
  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time in nature
  • Call a good friend
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout
  • Write in your diary
  • Take a long bath
  • Savour a warm cup of coffee or tea
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a comedy
Find out what relaxation techniques work for you and include them in your daily routine.

Remember to make time for friends or family members that are supportive and positive.