How to Reduce Exam Stress – Tips and Techniques.

by Prakash Kumar 442 views0

How to Reduce Exam Stress

How to Reduce Exam Stress?

Exam stress is a common worry for all ages and all students in all the five continents. There are jitters, butterflies in the stomach, nervousness which comes during the exam days and at the hall. To this add parental and society pressure and you have a mix we call STRESS.  With every passing day, there is a hyper-competitiveness in jobs and corporate sector and even in securing good government jobs.

Every person should take the necessary steps to avoid exam stress at an early stage. Becoming nervous and fidgety will only spoil things. Calmness and strong fortitude is the need of the hour.

Best ways to beat the exam stress

  1. Take a regular break every day: Even during the period of intense studies, it is necessary to take half an hour bare minimum break every day. This can be dinner outing with friends or watching a favorite television show or just spend time on any musical instrument if the person is used to playing music. There is always the fear of not retaining what has been memorized recently if a break is taken. This is not correct. After a particular portion has been covered say within the defined timeline, just refresh it and run through the points in the mind in a calm way. Then stop thinking about it and take out that much-desired break from work. When one comes out from the break, it would have been deeply embedded in the mind.
  1. Take some exercise and outdoor walk: Sitting up cooped inside the house buried with books and papers from morning to evening is not a healthy sign. Make it a point to have some outdoor exercise every day. This can be running, jogging, walk, cycling or swimming. This outdoor exercise can be in the morning or evening but it should be made a point to have it at a fixed time. The preferable time is always in the morning. Much has been said and written about the need to maintain a good and healthy body for a calm mind. But in reality, very few follow it. Most of the exam-sloggers are convinced that more the time they spend in the study room, the better. This is a wrong thinking. Fresh air and body movement is required on a daily basis to have clarity of mind and good memory power.
  1. No need to follow others’ study pattern: Make it a point to discuss chapters and topics and exam question patterns. It is not necessary to do revisions as suggested by others. This leads to more confusion. It is better to follow one’s own style of studies. This is similar to a minister following the editorial of a newspaper after any new legislation is brought in. There will be at least a hundred odd newspapers giving a different opinion on each act or law passed by the government. If the minister or official thinks it is necessary to know the opinion of each editorial and act accordingly then no law or legislation of the land will succeed. This is a perfect analogy for asking others opinions during exam season. It is good to take some tips here and there but ultimately it is one’s own judgment that is best in following a study pattern. This always works. However more the external opinions are asked, the more it will be muddled.
  1. Open up with others: At the same time, it is not advisable to keep things to oneself. If faced with difficulties or feeling that a dead end has reached, then talks to good friend or the department head or the project guide. They will tell what exactly to do and suggest suitable ways. Keeping problems to oneself is not the solution at the peak of exam crisis. In fact as the exam season approaches, slowly start moving around with an open mind clarifying all doubts and queries. There is nothing wrong in even consulting someone who is a junior. They may sometimes know more about the subject. Seniority and subject knowledge always do not go together.
  1. Avoid reacting to Negative people or remarks: During exam time, it is always better to be in touch with people who encourage and are positive from the very beginning. They will always emphasise on losing stress rather than the need for passing with high marks. There are a lot of people who will put the fear of failure in others. This is not the right type of encouragement. Then there are others who will encourage but will create high expectations that so and so the person will always score. This can sometimes come from parental and family side who want their progeny to excel. Both these are in reality negative pressures which will rarely succeed. True encouragement is by giving courage to the person that nothing is lost if marks go an astray and that there is always the next time and that hurdles and barriers will keep on coming. These are not to be considered as failures.
  1. Stop comparisons: Much of exam stress is inbuilt and not in reality. There is a tendency to compare with those who have scored high in the past and are now sitting in good positions. This is a wrong stand to take. Every progress in life is just self-evaluation and not peer comparison. Once the comparison starts, there is no end to it throughout life. It will keep on continuing. Better is to analyze oneself through a self-parameter and improvise from that angle.
  1. Right eating habits: Eating the right things at the right time yearlong will help in improving memory and making the body feel fresh and fine. While eating is a good idea over eating will make you lethargic and also eating at wrong hours or having excessive tea or coffee can and will have its effects when you are at the exam. The entire three main food intakes should be timely and within proportion. The dinner should be lightest as it will allow you to sleep well and wake up early.
  1. Never compromise on sleep: This is very important. Sleep should be adequate and one should wake up feeling fresh every morning. Nobody has benefitted by late night studies but yes if you must study more so you must find enough time to compensate for sleep. Your brain and body needs to refresh, recharge and rejuvenate. A good method to follow is to understand your best study hours and plan your sleep accordingly. Do not think you can sleep later and cover up for last sleep – this never happens.


Exam fear is more of an inhibition rather than actual fear. It is up to the exam taker never to let the fear of passing with high grades take over all other emotions. Life should go on with the adage that – “Success or failure is never permanent”

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