In the last few weeks, I underwent my yearly examinations for the end of my Year 11 course, and it was not easy. My mornings, lunch breaks and afternoons were filled with reading and answering questions, studying for the tornado of exams about to hit.
Throughout this period, there were a few things that I found made my process a bit less stressful and crazy. So, I thought I would share them with all of you and hopefully help you through exams or any tough times.
1. Make lists and organise your study. Making lists is a great way to ensure you don’t forget anything that you need to do, and organising your study means that you don’t forget to work on a subject. This helps reduce the frantic nature of not knowing what to work on and helps you stay on track.
2. Don’t overstudy and don’t let studying overtake you. Your exams are not the end of the world. It’s important not to drop any other activities or stop seeing friends. Hear it from me: it’s okay to spend a few hours not studying. So go to the gym, have a bath or read a book and give yourself time away from study to reground yourself and stay sane.
3. Go for a walk. This could be around your suburb, your block or your living room. Walking is unbelievably calming and really let’s you calm down, especially if you feel a slight panic attack coming on. This definitely helped me when I felt overwhelmed about my chemistry… it really clears the mind and lets you refocus.
4. Don’t study what you already know. This is the biggest piece of advice I can give you!! It is such a waste of time. When you study, you already know something. Rather than continuously studying that something as if you don’t know it and stressing yourself out more because you feel you have so much work to do, outline what you already know that you know, and spend your time on learning the other stuff.
5. Acknowledge that you choose how you feel, and choose wisely. The only person who controls your feelings and emotions is you. You choose when you feel stressed or nervous and you can choose how to fix it. Tell yourself: I feel stressed/nervous, but I am just overwhelmed by this task at hand and rather than making a big deal, I choose to keep a calm and collected mind and work productively and positively. I personally choose not to go into exams stressed but rather with a clear and positive mind because whatever happens will happen and I know I studied my best. It’s important for you to choose your study mindset as this can completely change the way you view exams.
So there you go! These are 5 slightly different tips for how to minimise the stress of exams. These techniques and ideas can be used in any stressful situation, doesn’t have to just be exams. I encourage you to try them next time you feel stressed and I hope you get through with a positive mindset and, in the end, a positive result.
Until next week, I bid thee farewell. (< some Shakespeare right there :P)