A Level

6 things to remember to battle exam stress

Exams can take their toll on your stress level and for some people this can affect the grade you come out with at the end. That’s why learning how to battle the worries you get before a big exam can really help you to focus, concentrate and stay positive.

I have comprised a list of six simple steps that can help you maintain a calm and confident attitude going into an exam so that you can get the best grade possible.

Number One: Be prepared

Not doing enough revision or being organised enough going into an exam can be one of the major contributors to your stress levels about an exam. You may feel that you’re underprepared or you haven’t covered enough of the material and by thinking this way, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

How you can overcome this is making sure that you are confident in the material you need for the exam and you understand it well. Seek the advice of your tutors outside lessons; ask your friends if you can study with them and help each other this way; when making revision notes, aim to make them as clear and concise as possible so you can easily understand them – different things work for different people. Find your preferred method and start working!

Number Two: Eat well before you go into an exam

Worrying about an exam may lead you to feel nauseous or uneasy and one of the worst things you can do is skip meals before a big exam. Maintain a healthy diet and pick foods that have high protein levels with slow releasing energy. This may include oatmeal or scrambled egg for breakfast if you have a morning exam or fish, chicken or quorn for lunch with an afternoon exam. Choose nutritious, healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts to give you the best brain fuel for your exam!

Number Three: Distract yourself before the exam

Cramming before the doors to the exam hall open is only going to make you anxious. When I was at school, my teacher used to tell us to go for a ‘brisk walk’ around school to get your heart rate up and your blood flow going as well as giving you something else to focus on before being sat down for the next few hours.

Number Four: Get a good night’s sleep

Obviously this might be difficult if you’re worrying about your exam, but aim not to stay up late revising. Perhaps drink a mug of camomile tea before bed and don’t to be on your phone or laptop before you try and get some sleep.

Number Five: Develop a positive attitude

Going into the exam with the right mindset is not only going to help you do better, but is also going to make you a lot less worried about the paper you’re about to sit. Have some confidence in yourself, take a deep breath and tell yourself that you can do it.

Number Six: Realise that you’re not alone!

You’re not the only one who suffers from exam stress. Chances are your friends will be too! Help and support each other, offer a distraction when needed and in return they will be there to calm you down and reassure you. Knowing that others are in the situation too can make it easier for you to cope with your own stress.


Written by a MyTutor Philosophy tutor Freya Block

A MyTutor Tutor

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