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Managing Exam Anxiety

Exam anxiety

If you are noticing exam stress, then some of the tips below may support you.

Remember feeling stressed or anxious during your exams is normal, noticing how you are feeling and taking positive action is a great place to start.

Below are tips for before, during and after exams.


Before

  • Clean and tidy your study space
  • Create a schedule to manage your study time, include resting, food and some fun to ensure balance
  • Organise your modules, use different colour pens and index cards to
  • Think about your support network-who in your network makes you feel calm, think about putting boundaries in with those that don’t

During

  • Ensure your mobile phone is off and you have all the equipment you need for the exam
  • Arrive in plenty of time, try to listen to your favorite music or have some space to yourself to prepare
  • If you notice anxious thoughts, try counting down from 100 or naming an animal for each letter of the alphabet,.

After

  • Leave to avoid a postmortem with course mates- this can be unhelpful
  • Get some fresh air
  • Rest
  • Eat
  • Do something you enjoy

Remember your wellbeing, balance is key – Relax, Eat, Sleep, Connect, and Exercise

Take notice of your stress levels, if you feel overwhelmed, practice some tips from the next page to recentre and refocus

Wellbeing Support Services remain open and running as usual. You can access a brief consultation Monday to Friday by submitting an enquiry on the Wellbeing Portal


Calming techniques

Tense and relax
  • Sit comfortably in your chair
  • Ideally choose a time when you will not be interrupted
  • Tense one of your muscles just enough to notice what it feels like, but don’t over do it
  • For example, clench your fist, screw up your face muscles, scrunch your toes, hunch your shoulders
  • Hold the tension for about 3-5 seconds, then release
  • Once you have done this a few times, move onto another muscle
Distraction
  • If you begin to notice your negative thoughts are cycling and you are unable to focus it can be helpful
    to try some quick and easy distraction techniques
  • Try counting backwards from 100 in 3’s
  • Name animals, countries, foods for each letter of the alphabet
  • This distracts you from those thoughts and can support you to move on and focus
Visualisation
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath
  • Imagine a place that feels as calm and peaceful as you possibly can
  • You might imagine a sandy beach, a woodland, a place you visited as a child, a field, your bedroom–
    whatever is your ideal safe haven.
  • Visualise this place in as much detail as you can.
  • Notice how you feel in this place.
  • If you don’t feel calm, try somewhere else.

Wellbeing Support Services remain open and running as usual. You can access a brief consultation Monday to Friday by submitting an enquiry on the Wellbeing Portal