How To Overcome Exam Stress - Timeless Secrets

Timeless secrets by our experts to overcome the exam stress. Students might get stressed before, during and after the exam.

Dr. Bindu Kapoor Anxiety 01 Dec 2019
How To Overcome Exam Stress
3 Years Ago 1.1k Reads 8 min read

Exam stress is a type of stress that occurs in the sense of panic, anxiety during the days, weeks, or months of exam time or any kind of test time. Students often feel under pressure while preparing for exams. The pressure not only results in feelings of nervousness or anxiety but also interferes with a stressed person's daily life. A certain amount of stress can be beneficial, but too much examination stress can cause problems for them and they can give a bad performance in tests that are very important for them.

Students should learn the causes of exam stress that can help students to regulate their anxiety level and emotions. The stress of the exam is short-lived because as soon as it ends you realize that you are free from the study for a few times and your stress levels decrease.

Signs and Symptoms of Exam Stress:

The symptoms of exam stress can be very different depending on the person and the type of exam. The following are the most common symptoms:

  • A feeling of anxiety, despair, or worry
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Tiredness from a long time
  • Feeling confused and moody
  • Teeth grinding, nail-biting, fidgeting
  • Feeling sick or having an upset stomach
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Lack of motivation to do anything and an inability to concentrate or to think clearly
  • Losing touch with friends and having trouble in making decisions
  • Trouble in sleep because your mind is racing and also trouble in getting out of bed

Causes of Exam Stress

Causes of Exam Stress

It is natural for the students who are preparing for exams and it can lead to anxiety and nervousness which refers to exam stress. A certain amount of stress is considered effective and beneficial because it helps to behave carefully while revising before the exams. Thus it helps the students with insufficient preparation but it can lead to poor performance when it gets out of control.

It is worth considering the causes of stress in children to determine whether examination stress is beneficial or whether stress has reached alarming proportions in your child. 

The following are the causes of exam stress:

  • Worry that they may fail
  • Don't feel prepared
  • Want to do well
  • Not get much time to study
  • Want to get a definite result
  • They don't think they'll do well
  • It's hard to understand what they are studying
  • Feeling pressurized by the family to get good marks
  • Feeling that they need to compete with others
  • Other things  happening in their life

Tips that help to cope with exam stress

However, sometimes, dealing with stress can be a difficult task, and for students seeking help for mental health issues related to studies, it is clear that they are under more pressure than ever.  Therefore, here are some tips that can help you during the stressful exam period.

1. Eat, sleep and exercise well

The symptoms of anxiety increase if you don't take proper sleep, survive on a poor diet, and have minimum amounts of movement. So for the best performance of the body students should take enough sleep of 8/9 hours, take less caffeine and more water, enough slow-release carbs, and also do exercise per day.

2. Remember to breathe 

You should schedule a few minutes to practice mindfulness exercises such as breathing that will help you calm the body stress and bring your focus back to the present time. This will help you to think rationally about what you have and get rid yourself of unethical thoughts, and also helps you to deal with a greater number of exams and initiate more effective revisions.

3. Take regular breaks

The most thorough exam will not give a long time for a study break but students should take a 20-minute break during study time. 

You can also go to the cinema, have dinner with your friend or you can do anything that will fascinate you during the exam. If you spend a little time away from the books then it will make you more refreshed for the next time of your revision.

4. Set realistic goals

You should set realistic goals before several weeks, days before the exams and it will help to keep everything in perspective. If you accept your situation and work to improve your faults then it will maximize your productivity.

5. Reduce your phone usage

Excessive use of mobile phones not only causes stress but also negatively impacts your mental health. So you should reduce the time of phone usage and you can try the following tips for this:

You should turn off all the notifications.
You should check your social media feeds once a day.

6. Believe in yourself

When students face new challenges in life, they don't remember to see how far they have come from the previous and how much has been received by them. So you shouldn't worry when you prepare very well for the examination and you should also try to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.

7. Make sure you're prepared

You shouldn't wait until the night before and study for the test until you don't become comfortable with the material. If you don't know how to study then you should take the help of the teacher or the parent because good preparation boosts your confidence and reduces exam stress.

8. Talk to someone

You shouldn't afraid to seek help from family, friends, and tutors because it is not embarrassing to seek help. If you really feel anxious and worried, then you should seek help from them, and they will help you with the practical strategies to deal with the stress of the exam.

9. Pace yourself through panic

It is very common for students to panic during the exams or even after the exams. If you face this problem, then you should take deep breaths, hydrate yourself to manage this. You should also remember that there can be a rational solution to every problem if you can't able to see this at first glance.

10. Apply time management techniques

Studies show that students who apply time management techniques have lower stress levels than students who don't apply time management techniques.

Effective time management includes adequate rest and a good night's sleep, which makes you feel more energetic so that you can concentrate while studying. The proper management of time helps to protect you from the feeling of overwhelm and in this way, you will be less stressed. 

Tips for Parents To Help Their Kid To Cope With Exam Stress


Sometimes students can't be able to reduce the stress, then as a responsible parent, you should help your children by boosting your children's confidence and helping them to perform well. 

1. Don’t put too much pressure

You should support your children and allow them to prepare for the exam without any unrealistic expectations. More pressure will affect your child negatively so you should believe in your child's abilities. Children can learn effectively at their own pace without any pressure and extreme pressure can make them more nervous about the exam.

2. Pay attention to their concerns

You should pay attention to their concerns and try to solve their problems and also tell them that exam stress is common for students. Healthy communication is necessary between you and your child because it not only motivates your child but also helps to improve their problem-solving skills.

3. Monitor their studies regularly

You should monitor your children's studies regularly because putting all the preparations on the last day will put a lot of pressure on the child. If you monitor your children's studies regularly then it not only helps them to understand the subject well but also reduces the stress level on the exam day.

4. Never judge or compare

You shouldn't judge your child's performance on the basis of their scores because these scores may not necessarily reflect their actual abilities. And also you should not compare your children with other students because this comparison will only hinder their performance in the exam.

5. Minimize the distractions

You should give your children space so that they can read peacefully and also make sure that this space will be well organized. The distractions like noise from the TV, family discussion, etc should be avoided so that they can get the right environment for the study and boost their performance during the exam.

6. Teach them to accept failure and move on

Students are afraid of failing to meet the expectations of their parents so you should teach them that to accept failure and move forward to do better in life. You should motivate them to take exams positively and this can happen only when you do not pressurize your children to perform well in the exam and score well. 

Final Words:

Finally, I can say that for the good performance of your children in the examination, you should not make unrealistic hope from them because this will bring more exam stress in your children. You should make healthy eating habits for your children that will not only be good for them but also will keep their minds racing for longer than normal.

I hope all the following tips will help your children to face the exams more effectively and remain stress-free on the days of the examination plus in case you

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