Managing Exam Anxiety
It is natural to feel nervous before an exam. In fact
a moderate amount of anxiety probably aids performance as it produces
a rush of adrenaline which can help with focus and concentration.
However, too much anxiety can have the opposite effect and lead to
panic, inability to concentrate and potentially poor exam performance.
Exam nerves may seem much worse if you are doing exams
for the first time or after a long gap. Equally, if English is not
your first language or you have a specific learning disability or
mental health problem, exams can seem particularly daunting.
Furthermore, exams do not happen in isolation and there may be other
things in your life that are causing you stress. We are all
individuals and have different stress thresholds, and personality
traits and past experiences can all contribute to our ability to cope
with stress and pressure. However, there are things that everybody can
do to help manage anxiety and optimise exam performance.
Top tips to beat exam anxiety
Be mindful. Allow your
exams/revision in to your mind ONLY when planning
your revision, or when actually revising. The
rest of the time, absorb yourself 100% in whatever
else you are doing - and don't forget relaxation
Anxiety is contagious! Keep
tactfully away from others who may increase your
Keep a record of how much time you
spend "working on/planning for" exams, and how much
time you spend just worrying about them. Which
is the greater time? Revision is good.
Revision is action and gets results, but don't let
exams invade your headspace. The only result
here is anxiety.
Student Support will be running 3 one-off
Mindfulness for exams workshops
which can teach you practical strategies to manage your anxiety.
Guidance and Advice
If you have tried the suggested techniques and still
feel very anxious or stressed
it is worth talking to someone about how you feel and seeking some
Come and talk to an adviser in
Student Support during opening hours.
For out of hours support during term-time you can visit
Nightline located at
the back of the Keynes Tower.
links and suggested reading
advice on dealing with anxiety, panic and related problems
Good Food - eating for exams
For further resources, refer to the
back to Wellbeing