The pressure of exams can cause a lot of stress and negatively affect performance. Fortunately, there are things that students can do to reduce the amount of stress they feel. By following these tips, students can help themselves feel more prepared and confident going into their exams.
The inability to concentrate during the day, and lack of sleep during the night, can have a negative effect on academic performance. Sleep deprivation, especially during finals week, can lead to a lack of judgment and a drop in academic performance, as well as long-term effects on health. On the other hand, one study shows that the better rested you are, the better you perform in exams. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough sleep is to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
Setting realistic goals, whether you have a few weeks, days, or hours until your test, can help you put things in perspective. Accepting your circumstances and working within the constraints of what you have allows you to maximise your productivity without risking burnout.
If you have a short time period to revise, prioritise your time. Do you need to learn the formulae for the exam? Do you need to understand what is expected of you in the paper? Remember that the examiner cannot ask you to create an item in your paper, so you do not need to worry about ‘designing’ an essay.
A great way to revise for an exam is to divide the content into areas.
A belief in yourself is crucial when it comes to studying and exams. Be confident that you can ace your exam, and you’ll be much more likely to do so.
Self-talk doesn’t have to be complicated; sometimes it can be as simple as ‘I can do it’. The most important thing is to remember that self-talk can be positive or negative. Our thoughts can affect how we feel, and how we feel can affect how we perform.
If you feel like you are under more pressure than necessary, remind yourself that anyone would feel the same way when faced with such a challenging situation.