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How to deal with exam nerves

How to deal with exam nerves

2023-03-06 10:06:37 |    0

How to deal with exam nerves









So many of us struggle with exams. We feel pressure to perform and sometimes that’s because we are underprepared or feel that because we have had negative experiences before, all future exams will also be like this. 

Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. Exams are always a chance to show everything you DO know. All that work you HAVE put in, and ultimately exams are positively marked. This means that examiners aren’t looking to take marks away, but to award them! 

So how can we get out of a negative cycle and start to, dare I say, enjoy exams? Read on to find out how to approach exams and what steps you can really take to improve your revision and the entire assessment experience to ensure that you succeed. 

Here are 5 steps you can take to help you excel in exams. 




1. Know the layout of the exam paper inside and out. If you know precisely the type of questions and order of questions you are going to face, you won’t be surprised by them and will find them much more familiar. This can all be done by completing past papers, (p.s this should form a large part of your revision anyway!



2. Consciously manifest the way you want to feel in the exam. Every day take 2 minutes to visualize the exam from the seat you will be in, to the hall, where the clock is, what the paper will look like, and picture yourself in that position and working calmly with focus. If you try to use this visualization technique twice a day every day in the lead-up to your exams you will see a big difference on the day. I’m not saying picture yourself getting every single question right as that might not be entirely realistic, but it’s definitely a realistic goal to try and sit through and work through an exam calmly and comfortably. 


3. Revise consistently rather than rush, so that you feel as prepared as possible. Most exam anxiety is down to not feeling confident, so anything you can do to negate this feeling will help. 3 hours a day maximum for at least 6 weeks leading up to the exam instead of cramming will make you feel much more confident.


4. Eat a good breakfast and drink water before your exam. You need the energy to get through and if you are running on empty, you are setting yourself up to not feel your best. The right food can energize your system, but be wary of fast foods and energy drinks before exams, because this can make you feel jittery and then sluggish or even burned out during exam situations.


5. Sleep is vital! Do not stay up till 2 AM trying to cram in the last bits of revision because you need that energy to perform at your optimum in the exam. Have a relaxing routine the night before the exam including maybe a bath or meditation and put on an uplifting film or read a book you love before bed at a reasonable hour. Aim for AT least 8 hours of sleep.