10 Tips For Avoiding Exam Stress

Taking an exam can be extremely stressful. Whether you’re sitting an exam at school, at college, as an older student, or even taking your driving test, an approaching exam can make you feel anxious. If your anxiety is having a big impact on you, there are things you can do to lower your stress levels.

As your exams approach, take a look at these simple tips for keeping stress at bay. The more relaxed you are, the better chance you have at demonstrating your skills.

Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your brain. You need a decent amount of sleep to ensure your brain is operating as well as it should so you can utilize it during your exams. Not getting enough sleep can also poorly affect your mood.

It may add to your anxiety and make you irritable. Be sure to make sleep a priority and leave studying for other times. Eight hours is recommended for adults so be sure to try and get that each night.

A Healthy Diet

What you eat can have a big impact on how much information you’re able to retain. A healthy diet will provide you with energy and brain power so your study sessions will always be a success. Much like eating protein and carbohydrates before going to the gym, healthy snacks before studying can give you the boost you need for a mental workout.

Avoid drinking too many caffeinated drinks to keep you alert while you study. They may keep you awake but they won’t help you learn. Stick to fruit, smoothies, and water for the best results.

Study in Groups

Studying in groups can be hugely beneficial. Some people avoid group study because they think it will be a big distraction. However, studying in a group can offer great encouragement and you can learn from each other’s different perspectives.

Studying alone can result in long periods of isolation that can lead to poor mental health. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression because of the stress of your exams, it’s important to reach out to mental health rehab services that can help equip you with the tools you need to get through this time.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential during times of high stress. It can help you fall asleep if you exercise at night and it can set you up for the day if you exercise in the morning. Exercising also releases endorphins which can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.

When you exercise, it promotes good blood and oxygen flow throughout your body which helps your brain to function at its best. Exercising outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air and vitamin D to support learning.

Meditation and Breathing

It’s easy for studying to become overwhelming. You may start to feel like you haven’t done enough or you’re going to fail. These kinds of thoughts can lead to anxiety and physical symptoms of panic, like heart palpitations.

If you find yourself feeling this way, meditation and breathing techniques can help significantly. It helps if you have a quiet space to yourself when meditating but it can be done anywhere and at any time.

Time Management

Learning good time management will be vital to avoiding stress when you have exams approaching. You won’t be able to leave studying to the last minute but you shouldn’t spend every minute studying either. Creating a study schedule will help you manage your time better in the lead up to your exams.

You won’t need to follow the schedule religiously but it can help to have a guideline so you make adequate time for study and time for much-needed breaks too. Spontaneity never works when it comes to studying.

Believe In Yourself

When you’re stressed about an impending exam, it can help to remind yourself of all your past achievements. Think about other times where you felt the way you do right now and remember the positive outcome. If you’re doubting yourself and your abilities, now is a good time to start believing in yourself.

Your confidence and positive attitude can do you a lot of favors when it comes to taking your exam. Everything from confidently reading a question correctly to displaying confidence in your answers will work in your favor.

Limit Distractions

Do you find yourself procrastinating because you’re spending time on social media? Life offers many distractions and most people would rather indulge in distractions than study. However, this often results in high levels of stress because what you’re supposed to do hasn’t been done.

When you’ve got an exam approaching, you’ll need to be disciplined and limit distractions. This could mean turning your phone off for the time you’ve allotted to study or saying no to that social event you really want to go to.

Avoid Multitasking

When you try to do too many things at once, it often results in all things being done poorly. If you have multiple exams ahead, you may feel so stressed that you try to tackle multiple subjects at once. If you try to do this, you could end up getting confused.

When studying for exams, it should always be quality over quantity. It’s better to get a few things correct than risk getting nothing correct. Focus on one thing at a time and move on when you’re confident.


No matter what you do, there is an exam coming and you will have to face it. Exams are stressful and when you’re willing to admit that and accept it, the prospect of taking the exam will become less fearful. Although you are in control of the outcome of the exam, it’s important to accept that an exam doesn’t dictate your whole future.

Prepping for any kind of exam can be a testing time. It’s vital that you put your physical, mental and emotional help first and seek help if you feel overwhelmed. If you’ve found this article helpful, take a look at the rest.