How to not die of exam stress

Got exam stress?
By now most people have returned to school, and as we’re straying further from the summer, the exams will start to come near. Exams are usually a major cause of stress under students, and stress is never good. So here are some tips on how to survive it.

1. Don’t. Freaking. Procrastinate.

I know this tip is probably gonna be disregarded anyway, but for those of you who are still open to hearing about this: don’t do everything the last day. Unless you know that you can handle it. But if you have an exam about, let’s say physics, and you know you absolutely suck at physics, then don’t start so late. Just give yourself extra time to memorise it all.

2. Don’t do too much.

Now this may sound a little weird, but what I mean to say with this is that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s better to spread it out and take breaks than to cram studying 4 subjects into two days. If you study every subject for like 30 – 60 minutes a day, you’ll still have time to relax. Maybe study the subjects that come easy to you a little less, and the ones you find more difficult a little more. Or study a subject every other day, whatever you like best.

3. Learn how you study.

I remember my old English teacher telling me about the different ways people study. Personally, I study using visual material. Some people study with audio, others with reading, and some people need to write everything down. If you’re like me and you’re quite visual, go to youtube to look up videos about the things you need to learn. The crashcourse channel, for example, helped me ace my biology exam by explaining everything very clearly with the use of animation.

If you’re more of an audio person, make yourself a podcast. Record yourself explaining the subjects and listen to it on your way to school. Or find audiobooks for your textbooks.

If you like to learn by reading, read not only your textbooks, but also extra articles related to the subjects. I found that doing research about subjects really make it easier to understand.

And lastly, if you prefer to write everything down, make summaries. Studies have shown that you memorise something better if you write it down. If you’re studying a language, try to write a short story or a poem with the words you need to remember (make it a mix between your native language and target language, if you’re a beginner).

4. Make it a game.

I’ve had several teachers tell me to make studying fun for myself. Make it a game. If you need to learn terms or words and their meanings, make a memory game. Make small pieces of paper with on one the word, and on the other the meaning. Do this to all the words you need to learn and then play memory, matching the words with the meaning.

Do a “draw the historical event (or something else, for example a chemical formula) within 30 seconds” game with your friends. You have to draw something you need to memorise, and your friend has to guess what it is. By drawing it you will memorise it better.

Need to learn names of people? Create a game of “who is it?” or “who am I?”

Be creative! Studying isn’t always boring. You gotta make it fun for yourself.

5. Study together

I’ve found that when I go to the library with some friends to study or work on an assignment, I’m like 126% more productive than when I sit at home studying or working on my own. Besides, when you’re with others, you can ask each other questions and learn from each other.

6. Relax.

Lastly, I want to stress (haha, see what I did there?) that you should take time to relax. Often I would have 2 weeks of exams, with lots of free days in between. Whenever I felt overwhelmed and stressed, I would take one of those free days to do something fun. I would take the train to another city and go shopping. Just taking a day off from studying can really help sometimes.

Also, set boundaries for yourself as to how long you’re gonna study. My concentration always cuts out around 5pm, so I decided that I would get up a little earlier so I could stop studying at 5pm. After that I would just do something fun.

I hope these tips will help in some way, and feel free to share them!

Go get ’em,

Anna from Yellow Days

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