How to Cope with Exams

Stress and anxiety are pretty common during exam periods, but instead of letting them get to your head, follow some of our easy tips on how to keep on top of your workload while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Keeping things in perspective
We all want to do great and be the best version of ourselves, but it should not be at the expense of our mental and physical wellbeing. We need to remind ourselves that although education is an important part of life, not exceeding in an exam or failing it will not be the end of the world. We tend to put pressure on ourselves much more than anyone else, and that can become daunting in stressful periods such as exams. Be kind to yourself and prioritise your health and happiness before grades.

It may sound rather obvious, but you can be surprised how many people forget to do this simple task in high pressure situations. Whenever you feel like everything is becoming too much for you to handle, and the stress is really daunting on you, just take a minute away from the studying and breathe in deeply. Go outside for fresh air and clear your head. Panicking will not help you revise but keeping calm will. Discover some breathing and mindfulness activities to help you focus and let go of those unhelpful thoughts, such as this exercise from the NHS.

Make a plan
Having a plan to refer to is always good guidance, especially if you’re revising for more than one exam, which is usually the case at university. Figure out how many topics you need to cover, how much time you have, and make sure to set aside some time every day for breaks, food and exercise. Once you know when you’re doing what, it will save you time and stress and will provide you with some clarity in a time of uncertainty.

Take it step by step
Instead of trying to cram a whole unit in one day, why not set yourself multiple small and achievable goals that make up the bigger goal. That way you’ll feel like you’re moving ahead step by step and you won’t feel as overwhelmed. These are the building blocks to ensure your success!

Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle
When you’re fully occupied with revision it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. Getting enough sleep is a vital factor if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and if you want to be in your best revision form. Sleep helps with stimulating the brain, with recovery and memory, and with fighting stress and fatigue.

Ask for help
Although you may feel alone, remember that you’re not. Don’t feel like you have to fight this battle by yourself and that asking for help is out of the question. Ask your classmates if you can compare notes or have study sessions together. As they say, two brains are always better than one, so you can fill in each other’s knowledge gaps and cover more information together.

Also, don’t forget we have an amazing Student Services team on campus ready to help you with any academic, personal or medical issues you may have. You can book one to one sessions, talk with our Wellbeing Officer who can offer support and guidance on how you can cope in such stressful times, or you can meet up with a counsellor and just talk about any issues or problems you may be facing.

And don’t forget that even though exams are an important part of your life and your education, it is more important to take care of yourself first and foremost. Stay healthy and happy, and don’t forget you’re not alone. You’ve got this!

Discover more about student life at AECC University College and our student support services.​