Avoiding Stress At Exam Time

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GCSE Maths By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Maths » GCSE Maths
Last updated: 01/02/2017
Tags: advice (exams/revision), exam stress

Exam time is fast approaching and every student ultimately reaches the day when they realise sitting back in lessons and completing homework at the last moment has left a serious gap in their knowledge. When faced with the stress caused by this realisation, it can be hard for students to prevent it from becoming overwhelming and damaging in terms of mindset and motivation. However, this article will provide the simple, stress relieving tips that will help students to avoid revision and exam panic and find their own, individual way to prepare for exams. 

1) Everyone is unique

Comparing yourself to other students will almost definitely cause extra, unnecessary stress. While it can at first seem a good idea to compare the amount of revision you and your friends are doing, along with the way that you are revising, this can simply add to exam worries as you begin to feel as though you are falling behind your friends. Every individual is different and so will need to revise in different ways and at different times. Some students may make notes, while others prefer to watch revision videos. Some may complete a small chunk of revision every day, while other may revise in large chunks at the weekend only. Find the methods that work best for you rather than copying ineffective methods from your friends due to a fear of standing out. At the end of the day, exams are not about competing against others, but about trying to better yourself and reach your own maximum potential.

2) Vary your revision

Once you have found the revision methods that are effective for you, attempt to vary your revision. Do not simply read from the textbook! According to the Multi- Store Model of Memory, proposed by Atkinson and Shriffin, elaborative rehearsal is required in order to transfer information from short to long term memory. This means to properly remember your revision, you must actively do something with the information. Whether this is writing notes, repeating the information out loud or asking a friend or family member to test you, it will ultimately help you to store the information in your memory, making it easier to recall in exams.

3) Don't be afraid to ask for help

When studying, it can be tempting to lock yourself away in your room with a textbook for hours on end. While this can sometimes help students to focus, it can often hinder revision as difficulties are glossed over and not resolved. When struggling with revision don't be afraid to ask others for help, from asking questions about the subject content to simply asking someone to test your knowledge. This can be friends, family members or teachers. You can even use online help resources that are easily accessible to everyone. Many students make the mistake of simply relying on their textbook and not using helpful people around them when studying.

4) Make the most of breaks

It’s crucial to factor breaks into your revision to prevent tiredness and boredom. One key way to use your breaks effectively is to exercise during them. Exercising will reduce stress by encouraging you to focus on something entirely separate to studying. Exercise will help you to gain more energy and so when you do sit down to revise again you will feel refreshed and ready to focus. Another way to reduce stress in your breaks is to spend time with friends and family. Whether you are going out or simply sitting down for a chat, spending time with others (without talking about revision!) will help you to forget any stress or worries and turn any negativity into positive thoughts. Taking a hot shower or bath can also help ease stress even for a short period of time and you will feel refreshed and ready to work afterwards. While breaks are important, set strict times for them as otherwise it can be tempting to let a half hour break turn into a day without revision!

5) Stay motivated

After a long stretch of revision, it can be difficult to find the motivation to keep revising at a steady pace. When you're feeling unmotivated it is important to remind yourself of the reason you started. You could do this by keeping a picture of the school you are aiming to go to by your desk, writing down the grades you hope to achieve or simply think about the feeling of pride and accomplishment you are aiming for once you have finished your exams. To stay motivated, you can also offer yourself small rewards for completing revision. By promising yourself some chocolate or maybe some new clothes after completing a certain amount of revision, you can motivate yourself to continue to the end. 

While these tips will help you to avoid stress during revision, it is up to you to remain positive and calm throughout the process. Remember that as long as you've worked your hardest and tried your best, your grades will reflect the effort you've put in.

Amy Page 11+ exam Tutor (Sutton)

About The Author

I have been tutoring all ages in Maths and English in person and online 3 years. I focus on positively encouraging and engaging students, focusing on improving grades and confidence. I also tutor psychology, science and history.

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