7 Tips For Coping With Exam Stress

by Sarah Adams

During exam season, it is common to feel nervous and stressed before and during the big day. High stress levels around exam times can effect performance. Here at First Tutors, we've put together some tips to help you recognise when you are feeling stressed and learning to manage these stress symptoms.


Recognise When You Are Feeling Stressed

Have a break from revision and chat to someone who understands the level of pressure you're feeling. Having someone to talk to about your work can help. Whether it be support from a parent, private tutor or study buddy - talking it through can help put things into perspective. Common stress symptoms are: irritability, panic, fatigue, insomnia, chest pains, and increased heart rate.

Sleep Well

Get yourself into a good sleep routine, it can be easy to have late nights with revision and study sessions. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, getting 8 hours sleep per night will help you keep focused and concentrate better. And as hard as it may be, avoid 'screen-time' 1-2 hours before you plan to go to bed. Sleep is a powerful mechanism for remembering information better as it helps your brain assimilate new knowledge into your long-term memory which you can retain and recall during your exam. You're not revising when you're asleep but you are preparing for the next day's study or revision

Eat Well

Your diet can play a major part in your stress levels. Eating right will make you feel better. Eat moderately before your exams; avoid a heavy meal. If you eat too much, your brain will have to devote energy to the process of digestion. On the other hand, if you skip a meal altogether, your brain will have inadequate fuel to function well. Aim for nutritional balance and moderation. For foods that power your brain, have a look at our Brain Food post.


Exercise is proven to help your mood. Get all that excess energy out when you're nervous! Take a bike ride to a study buddy's house, go for a jog, or play a game of football with your brother. If you don't feel comfortable taking that much time away from studying, try and go for a walk around the block to give yourself a break.


You can't spend every waking hour of the day revising or panicking about your exams. When you are feeling anxious try doing something that will help calm you down. Whether it be a hot bath,watching a film, lying in a dark room, meditation, listening to music or hanging out with some of your friends - it is important to relax and clear your mind.

Listen To Music

Listening to music can elevate your mood and help you revise more effectively. Classical music in particular is recommended for studying as it is known to boost brain power. Music can also fight boredom and motivate you to continue studying for longer. If you find yourself getting distracted try searching for mood music which can help you stay on track.

Reward Yourself

If you're part way through your revision or if you've completed your exam - it is important to reward yourself for your hard work. Go and buy the outfit you have been saving up for, treat yourself for an evening dinner out, have a celebration party with your friends and family.

For all of those studying or taking exams, the First Tutors team would like to wish you the best of luck!

Tags: stress exam tips
Categories: Exams