Stress is inevitable. It is one of the many natural parts of life. But in this article, we will focus on those dreaded moments when you begin to feel anxious when you do not have time to do anything about it. You cannot stop talking down because you have an exam coming up, stressing out. Here are nine tips for a stress-free exam day.
It seems obvious, but make sure to plan as much as possible before the big day. Know how long it takes to get to the testing facility. Also, where you need to go once you get there and park. It is advisable to arrive at least half an hour before the test begins.
Ensure that you have everything you need with you before leaving home or work. Do not forget to bring a snack and drink if the testing center does not provide anything. You do not want mid-test hunger cramps distracting you from the questions at hand.
Do not panic about how much studying you have left to do — get some sleep instead. You might feel tempted to forgo sleep for one more hour of cramming. However, this is not a good idea. You will absorb the information better if you get a good night’s rest before your exam. Do a quick review before bed instead of cramming all night. Also, ensure that you feel refreshed and prepared for your exam the next day.
Make sure that you are regularly eating during this busy time. Your brain will work best when fueled with proper nutrition. Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. A healthy meal helps you stay alert during your exam and gives you energy throughout the day.
Also, avoid heavy meals right before an exam. Fatty meals make you tired and slow down your thinking process. Instead, eat smaller nuts, fruit, or granola bars. These snacks give you a slow release of energy without making you feel sleepy or sluggish. Eat something light like a yogurt or a pack of crisps.
Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can lead to a headache, dizziness, and lack of concentration. The last thing you need before an exam. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. We often mistake thirst for hunger so next time you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water instead of eating something. If your mouth is dry and sticky on the morning of your exam, drink as much as you like. However, avoid caffeine at all costs.
Exercise to Reduce Stress
Exercising before an exam calms your mind and body, releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and helps you focus. It also helps tone down anxiety and get rid of any nervous energy. Any physical activity will include running, walking, swimming, or dancing. Remember not to overdo it before an exam because exercising too much can be counter-productive.
Self-care is an essential part of mental health and wellbeing. It is a series of activities you intentionally do to improve your mental and emotional health. The goal is to relax your body and mind, putting you in a better frame of mind to study or take an exam. If you feel stressed about an exam, try relaxation techniques to calm your nerves beforehand. Some options include:
- Deep breathing: Take several deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can reduce anxiety and increase focus.
- Meditation: Meditation involves focusing on the present moment by observing your thoughts and allowing them to pass without judgment. It can lower stress levels and help with concentration.
- Yoga: Yoga combines physical exercise with meditation, which helps you clear your mind while getting some exercise at the same time.
Organize Your Study Notes
You will not remember everything you learn in class during the year, so there is no point trying to cram everything into your head on the eve of an exam. Instead, organize your notes in a way that makes sense to you when you review them.
For example, an essay writer can jot down hard topics that need more coverage. Therefore, it becomes easy to remember what they studied for each subject. It may help to check using mind maps or pictures as this engages both sides of your brain.
You cannot get out of the exam, but you can de-stress it. Sometimes, being prepared and taking the time to practice before an exam can be just enough to relax your mind. Also, it helps you feel confident on exam day.