7 Ways to Cope with Exam Stress

Exam period can certainly be a stressful time of year. Here are 7 tips for coping - and hopefully succeeding - when the pressure is on.


They say a little stress can give you that motivational push you need, but with an ever-increasing number of university students facing study-related mental health issues every year, it's evident that we're under more pressure or perform than ever before.

So, here to your rescue are seven ways to help you beat the stressful exam period.

1. Declutter and re-evaluate your study space

Do you have a desk in your room that is currently overflowing with paperwork, unwashed coffee mugs and other bits and bobs that need tidying up? Clutter burdens your brain and inhibits our thinking, which leads to stress. So, first things first: it’s time to declutter!

Create an inspirational setting to make your study time as productive as possible. Stick to-do lists or a calendar on the wall to plan your study routine. You could even transform the space and make it tranquil by placing a succulent, lighting scented candles or playing your favourite study music.

Woman with hands on head in stress looking at a laptop

2. Eat right, exercise, sleep well, repeat! 

As simple and cliché as it may sound, it truly is the mantra for a stress-free mind. Pulling all-nighters, having a poor diet and staying indoors can increase symptoms of anxiety.

Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours and taking a short walk can refresh your mind, and boost your memory. 

Why not check out these brilliant brain foods to discover the best snacks for helping you focus when exam season arrives?

3. Set realistic goals

To put everything into perspective and avoid stress, it's important that you set realistic and achievable goals that are true to you. Whether you have weeks, days or hours before your test, accepting your situation and working within the realms helps you make the most of your productivity. 

While some may find it helpful to have group study sessions, try not to compare others' revision to your own - it will likely stress you out and may make you feel like you aren't progressing as well as them.

4. Breathe in, breathe out

Panicking before, during or even after an exam is common. If you experience it at any point, take a few long, deep breaths to relax. Meditation and deep breathing are the most effective ways to take a break and approach your stress from a different angle.

Try downloading apps like Calm, Headspace, MindMeister well in advance to help you keep composed.

5. Limit your time on social media

We've all agreed to give our Facebook feed a quick sneak peek and ended up spending hours watching funny cat videos.

Learning to detach yourself from the distractions of your beloved Instagram and Snapchat will do wonders for your anxiety and procrastination and avoiding social media completely for a while will prevent you from having to see posts from friends talking about how much revision they’ve done.

6. Share your thoughts

If you feel you're struggling, don't ever hesitate or be ashamed to ask for help. Talk to your friends and family, or your tutor about how you're feeling and if needed, seek professional help. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone to clear your mind and regain your focus.

7. Believe in yourself

When we’re constantly under pressure, we often forget to look back at our progress and achievements. Try to focus on the positive, ease up and practice some self-compassion. At the end of each day, write down three of your achievements, no matter how big or small they are; recognising your successes will help keep you looking forward and taking more steps in the right direction.

Blended Learning makes it easier to fit studying around your life; a combination of online and face-to-face learning, you really get the best of both worlds.