How to stay positive during exams

Uni students doing exams

Exams are a horrible experience. A continual attack on your psyche lasting from 1 to even 3 hours of critical time. Critical time used to write possibly one of the most important pieces of writing you’ll ever write in your entire life. So no pressure right? Hyperbolics aside, exams remain one of the most stressful parts of our lives. More often than not they can mean the difference between getting into an Oxbridge or a local college. And getting stressed out during an exam can really scupper up your chances of successes. Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate this stress. A positive mind is a powerful force indeed and if you can stay positive, you’ll succeed.

Give yourself plenty of time

Student using time well during exams

Though some questions give a recommended amount of time to do them, sometimes it takes longer to do them. Spend more time on questions you find more difficult than questions you’re comfortable with. If you’ve got extra time then be sure to use it, since it’s always good to make sure check everything over. You can apply this tip to revision as well. Allow yourself to spend more time on harder subjects. It’ll be worth it.

Sleep well

Student sleeping soundly before exams

I don’t mean to be a parent, but getting enough sleep really does wonders for your head. If you don’t give yourself enough time to rest then you’ll end up battling tiredness as well as stress. No amount of energy drinks will save you, especially if you’re doing a morning exam. Having a clear head after a nice long sleep will heavily increase your concentration and help you think straight. Heck even the normal stress you get during an exam is somewhat mitigated as well. It’s a win-win all round.

Don’t revise on the day

Stressed student failing to revise before exams

It’s alright to read off some cards to help remember some pointers. But don’t start frantically skimming through your book seconds before the exam starts. Out right revising on the day is useless. You can read all you want, but none of those essential facts are going stay in your head. The best thing to combat this is to simply, well, revise beforehand. Now you don’t really need to revise everything, as that’s impossible. Instead focus on revising the stuff you have trouble with, and on the day bring some flash cards to jog your memory before the exam. Making sure you feel like you’re not lacking in the fact department is important. As long as you feel you’ve done enough, you’ll be golden.

You are your own worst enemy

Student facing herself before exams

Honestly, the only real thing keeping yourself stressed and upset is yourself. Your mind likes to wander and think of all the terrible outcomes you could have. Don’t indulge that and instead cast off your fears. Instead focus on what’s happening right now on the question paper. If you can’t think of an answer now then just go on to the next question. There’s no harm in coming back to a question later. Focus entirely on the exam and the exam only. Once it’s over then you’re free to think what you want. Good or bad, I guarantee that this will help you stay focused and positive on the exam.

And those were my tips on staying positive during an exam! Hopefully you’ve found it useful. Do you need more tips on keeping cool while working? Then check out Rebecca’s article on doing your coursework stress free!

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