Exam period is a stressful time – here are our top tips of how to keep cool, calm and collected in the run up.
Timetable your day
When you’ve got a lot on the prospect of sitting at your desk all day can seem pretty unappealing. And if you’ve ever spent hours trying to get something done but feel like you haven’t achieved anything it makes sense to carve out your time and plan your days. When you’re swamped with work you’re more likely to lose track of where you’re up to and feel overwhelmed. Everyone is different and there are plenty of different ways to schedule your days so find one that works for you. Just make sure that you’re being realistic with your time and don’t schedule more work than you can handle. Which leads us on to…
Take meaningful breaks
All work and no play makes you a very stressed out human! It’s natural to want to cram in as much revision as possible in the lead up to exams but overworking yourself may lead to burn out rather than better results. Schedule breaks to clear your head and stick to them. If you can, get away from your desk and out into the fresh air. A brisk walk can help clear your mind and might mean you actually study more effectively when you return to work.
Look after your health
It’s easy to fall into the trap of prioritising exams above anything else. However, your health should always be a top priority. If nothing else, you’re not going to perform well in your exams if you’re too sick or rundown to concentrate. Try to think of your diet as brainfood and make sure you get three healthy meals a day, including plenty of veggies whilst you’re studying. Equally exercising can make you more alert and contribute to your overall wellbeing so try not to put this to one side during exam period, in favour of extra study time. It’s all about balance!
Create a regular study space
It might help you to set up a regular workspace that you can come back to during the run up to exams. Setting up a quiet, clean space can help you get in the zone and study more efficiently than if you’re surrounded by distractions or in a new place that you’re not accustomed to. If you’re studying at home, try picking a quiet room that is away from distractions such as the TV or other members of your household. If you’re using the library or a shared workspace, identify a good area to sit in that works for you and make that your go to spot.
Get organised and tidy
One of the most important parts of effective time management is organisation. It’s all well and good having detailed notes on your chosen subject, but if you can’t find them you’ll waste time and energy. Spend some time sorting your notes into labelled folders and making sure that you have all the books that you need to get you up to speed ahead of your exams.
Try to get some perspective
Exams are important. We all know that. However stressing yourself to the point of exhaustion won’t help anyone, especially not yourself. Chances are you’ve put the required work in and you’ll do just fine. It might seem like life and death right now but there is more to life than exam results. Worrying about your workload will only increase stress hormones such as cortisol which impair your concentration and learning abilities. So take a deep breath and remember that everything will be alright.