Dealing with Anxiety During Exams

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”– Thich Nhat Hanh

Like so many students during exam time, we panic about our academic future.  Not knowing how to cope with panic during this period can become crippling. The constant fear and sleepless nights worrying about your exam only causes further anxiety. Below are a few tips I use to help ease my anxiety during this stressful academic period:

  1. 1. Deep and mindful breaths

    This simple exercise can help calm your mind and make you think clearly before jumping into your study routine. Concentrate on your breath and forget everything else. Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of three. Exhale for a count of four. The hand on your belly should go in as you inhale, and move out as you exhale.


  2. 2. Don't cram!

    I cannot stress this enough. It is very important for your mental health to begin studying way before your exam.  I know from experience that cramming a night before can lead to a break down. It is also not healthy to study non-stop without breaks in-between. To help reduce your anxiety, make sure to study before the time. Say no to procrastination!


  3. 3. Get enough sleep

    Sleep is just as important as studying. You want to be able to concentrate, not just read over your work without remembering anything. So as much as you want to study whole day and night, remember to let your brain and body rest.


  4. 4. Study environment

    If you need complete silence in order to study, go to a library near you. If you are a person that enjoys listening to instrumental music in the background while studying, create that environment for you.  Studying in conditions that enables learning helps reduce stress.


  5. 5. Commit to a study routine

    If you know you cannot study during the night time, don’t do it. If reading out loud helps you remember your work then stick to it. Knowing what works for you and actively learning in your own way can help reduce your exam stress. Avoid listening to other peoples studying techniques unless you are looking for something that works for you. If you are looking for new study techniques, look for them way before the exam so that you know it works for you.


I hope these methods help reduce your anxiety and that you have fruitful exam period!