Exam time coming – settle those nerves

keep calm

Follow these tips and take out some of the stress in the run up to end of year exams – they’ll help you approach your revision in a steady, balanced way.

When you are feeling overly stressed or panicky, your body changes. Your ability to think rationally, make considered decisions and allow facts, figures and information to sink in is significantly reduced. You breathe differently and this in turn changes the blood flow to the brain. The fight or flight response kicks in – awfully useful if you’re being chased by a wild animal, less so if you’re trying to focus on revision or solve a complex problem!

When you’re putting together your perfectly colour coded revision timetable, add in time to make sure you sleep well, eat well, exercise and allow for some fun.

So how do you regain a sense of balance?

  • In the moment, start by acknowledging how you feel and recognise what’s happening.
  • Then pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in deeply, hold it for a count of 3, then breathe out slowly. Do this a couple of times.
  • Accept where you are now, and think about where you want to be and the actions you need to take (finish a chapter/ write up notes?)
  • Let go of negative ‘noise’ and stories telling you it’s impossible and that you’ll never get through it. Be kind to yourself. Think of the positive steps you’ve taken. One helpful question to ask yourself is ‘what would a good friend say to me now?’

    When you are feeling calm, your revision will be so much more effective.

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