Exam season is here!

Exam stress

Exam season is officially here! Much to the dismay of many of you out there. Exams are one of those things that you have to do, but nobody likes them and the stress of them can cause sleepless nights. Well done schooling system, bravo.

Exams were a great source of stress to me when I was at school, to the point where I would have a timetable of when to write a timetable for timetabling the revision, in a timetable. You know what I mean.

So I have compiled a list of handy tips to help you prepare for your exams. They are things I used to find helpful and I hope you do to.

Here goes:

1.Find your optimum time of day to revise. Have a think, or even a test, to decide if you revise better in the morning or the evening, or the afternoon. I revise best first thing in the morning, my concentration is better. But I have friends who can work until midnight and get lots done. I know that after 9pm, my brain turns off. Like there is some sort of a switch in there or something. So I knew I would get the most effective revision done by getting up early and doing my revision first thing in the morning.

2. Find a work space that suits the conditions you need to revise. This maybe your bedroom, or the kitchen table or your school library. Once you have decided where you are going to revise, you can tell your family that you are off to revise and you would appreciate not being disturbed! I need complete silence so I can talk out loud, meaning a shared room at home was not ideal for me and people gave me funny looks in the library at school so I decided that revising in my bedroom on my own was going to be my best option!

3. Grab everything you need before you sit down to revise. I used to get a glass of water, some snacks (preferably healthy ones but you know…) and all the books I would need. I would then, as hard as it was, put my phone in another room. My theory was that I could use my breaks to get up and have a little walk about and check my phone. Having a change of scenery made me feel a bit more refreshed and ready for more revision. Getting up and having a walk also helps to loosen your stiff body after sitting at a desk for ages.

4. Which brings me nicely to this: Remember to give yourself some relaxation time! Whatever relaxes you. A bath, watching a film, listening to music. If you work so hard that you burn yourself out, then by the time you come to sit your exams, you will be exhausted! So remember to schedule some time to switch off and relax. And don’t feel bad when you are relaxing. If you are working hard the rest of the time then you deserve a break!

5. During your whole exam/revision period, try and go to bed at a reasonable time to make sure you are refreshed for the next day, be it an exam or revision day. Having a good night’s sleep will do you the world of good. Particularly if you are having a bad day, a good night’s sleep will hopefully put you in a better mood for the next day.

6. Have a playlist on your phone or Ipod that gets you all pumped and ready to tackle your exams. Listen to it every morning or on your way to school for your exam. My suggestions of songs would be the classic Eye of the Tiger, maybe Fighter by Christina Aguilera? Or thinking out of the box, I’m Sexy and I Know It (!). Not only will the power of music make you feel more up for it, but having a dance will relax you and let’s face it, who doesn’t love having a dance as you get ready for school in a morning?!

7. It is exam day. You have done the whole lining up outside the exam hall thing, trying not to listen to your peers talking about how stressed they are (not helpful. To anyone. Why do they do it?). But here you are, looking at an exam paper, your stomach churning. First thing is first. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Open your eyes and you are ready to go, calmly. Open your paper and read each question. Read them slowly and more than once. Sometimes your brain does this cute thing when you are stressed, it makes you read the question that you want to come up, rather than the actual words that are in front of you. How helpful. So read each question super carefully. Block out that annoying kid next to you who is already writing furiously. They will get a hand cramp soon and stop. Just concentrate on what you are doing.

8. Have faith in yourself. Find an inspiring quote, find a friend to talk to who is positive, make plans after an exam so you have something to look forward to. Whatever it takes to make you believe that you can get through the exam and produce answers to the best of your ability. That is honestly half of the battle. And it is a battle you can win! So push on young warrior and do your best. I believe in you.

If you have any advice that really helps you during exam season, feel free to tweet it to @notfallingover and I will retweet it to share with everyone. Or you can leave a comment at the Instagram page: notfallingoverblog

If any of you feeling like you need some further advice for dealing with this kind of stress, I have found a very useful website called Better Help. They specialise in connecting people with counsellors over the Internet for help, but their Advice section on the website https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/ contains loads of amazing articles that are so helpful for lots of different kinds of stress. Please check it out, it is full of helpful hints and tips.

And finally, good luck to everyone who is doing exams at the moment. Let me know how you get on! You will smash them!!

You can do this

Sarah x

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