Exams are stressful: How to deal with them effectively

Examinations can be nerve racking. We take exams throughout our school years and often continue well past our graduations, often in order to advance in our respective fields. So how do you get through exam time without battle scars?

Stress is our body’s flight or fight response. So stress per se is not entirely a negative factor. In minimal doses, stress can actually help you rise up to the challenge. The key is managing it effectively.

Here are a few suggestions to manage stress during exam time:

As much as possible, avoid cramming. Start your preparation and study routine well ahead of an exam. Exams do not mean giving up all of your social activities. You can still hang out with your friends over a coffee. You just have to limit it to a reasonable timeframe and stick to it.

Positive time management: List all your subjects and break them up in to study areas. Prioritize more time to your weakest subject areas.  To manage time wisely and remember it is not the quantity but a quantity of quality of time you spend that matter to the bottom line. You can study but if your heart and mind are not there, you’re no better off at the end of the day.

Keep your diet in check: Your diet will play a major role in stress management. Eat nutritious and healthful food. You will be tempted to shoot up on caffeine to push your hours that much further.

Perhaps you can do without a bag of chips and try a bar of dark chocolate instead of that 7th cup of coffee. You should snack on something light to help keep you awake, have an apple. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients that can counter negative stress, and give you the boost you need at the same time. Plus, they help your brain absorb and retain information better.

Find out what works for you. Adapt a study technique that really works for you. By acknowledging the fact that your successful study habits may and will differ somewhat to your friends you will reduce some of the stress. If your friends need perfect peace to study efficiently while you crave ear-splitting hard metal music… well go with that. But do not use this as an excuse to procrastinate; it may just be your comforting delusion. If you feel focused early in the morning then work with that, study at a time when you’re at your prime.

Exam preparation can be very taxing, but it does not have to affect you negatively. Channeling your body’s fight or flight response properly to make it work in your favor is the key!

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