Exam stress: overcome it with these eight tips

Amariah, a grade 6 learner from Johannesburg, shares her perspective on overcoming exam stress. She hopes the tips and tricks she shares help you, not only overcome your own exam stress, but also ace your next exam.

Exam stress is a very real thing! Exam season can be the most demanding time of the year. In the past, I have become anxious, stressed and even scared that I wouldn’t remember all of the work studied.

That’s when I finally found a solution.By using the eight tips below I was able to overcome my own exam stress and now, I hope you can benefit from them too.

Tip 1: Have a goal

I picture what I want to achieve in each exam, believe I can do it and then put in A LOT of hard work to accomplish it. This has helped me achieve first in my grade for every year thus far, even though I’m a year younger.

Tip 2:  Start early

The earlier the better.  Remember the saying, the early bird catches the worm? Well the bird first has to stop goofing around and actually start! I start preparing around one month in advance. Yep, it sounds pretty early, but it has been my secret to catch the worm every time. For more information, read Disrupt Tutoring’s article on overcoming procrastination – it really is a thief of time.

Tip 3: Make a schedule

I have found that even with the best intentions it was easy to get distracted by my phone, the TV or even social media. That’s why I make a schedule that is printed and pasted where I can see it. The schedule covers one subject each day to help me stay focused. It also has enough time for after school activities, homework, sport and a little bit of life because life doesn’t stand still when you’re preparing for an exam.

Tip 4: Keep your health in mind

Whilst studying, I make sure to take regular breaks especially when it feels like my brain is overloaded. I find that doing activities that I enjoy like stretching out, dancing and swimming helps relax my brain. I also eat healthily and continuously.

Tip 5: Break down the information

The most difficult part of studying for me, used to be trying to remember large amounts of information.  Then I learnt to break it down using summaries, key words, mind-maps and diagrams. I even use songs, rhymes and acronyms. I also found that using colour helps me focus and study better.

Tip 6: Practise, practise, practise (this makes perfecto)

Early on in my schedule, a day is spent finding and downloading past year papers and memos. Depending on the subject, I answer as many past papers as possible. Then I highlight difficult questions or answers to questions I got wrong and make reminders to go through them again closer to the exam.

P.S. Disrupt Tutoring have literally hundreds of epic tutorial videos covering questions that are likely to come up in your next exam. Start watching them here (no sign-up, no subscription, totally free). Plus, if you can’t find the answer to your question, you can send them your question and they will reply with a personalised video, just for you!

Tip 7: Ask for help

The only stupid question is the one that’s never asked so I’m never afraid to ask for help. For me, looking silly when asking a question is definitely better than remaining silent and getting it wrong in the exam.

Tip 8: Revise

A day or two before my exam I go through all of my summaries and make sure I understand where I went wrong in the previous past year papers.

Now go out there and ace your next exam!

We have all felt exam stress, but I promise by using my eight tips, you will not only get through your exams, but do really well.

Remember, time not used to prepare for an exam is lost forever. So, if you’re tired of cramming or feeling stressed, stick to the steps above and you will be just fine.

You have nothing to lose and only great marks to gain.

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