Exam time can be a stressful and challenging time for students. Here are some effective ways to stay mentally healthy during your exams.

The students of 2020-21 will recall a very different ‘exam season’, where schools had to manage two exam cycles during the pandemic in which no actual exams took place. However, this year pupils will be able to sit exams in a normal fashion and with this, all the associated anxieties could well be heightened.

It’s important to remember that exam success isn’t just about effective study techniques. It’s equally about remaining calm under pressure. Here we offer some strategies for successful stressbusting in the run-up to exams.

Study versus downtime

It’s crucial to find a healthy balance between study and downtime. Know your limits. Stopping study before tiredness kicks in is essential to performing well. Many students struggle to “switch off” after studying hard. If this sounds like you, it may help to try and visualise this balance by listing any worries, what you need to get done, and what you can do to rest and relax.           

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can empower students to deal with exam-related stress and anxiety. It can help de-centre from difficult emotions and bring calmness so that the exam scenario is seen as a less threatening experience. Meditation techniques in particular help students cope better with stress and will improve sleep and concentration levels.

Wellbeing tips during exams

Advice for parents

This can be a fraught time for parents too! Here are some ways in which you can support your child’s wellbeing and lessen your own anxieties during study season:

Lastly, it’s important to keep perspective. Exams can help take you to the next step in your academic or professional career. However, your results are not the only measure of success. If you don’t get the grades you want, remember that this happens to a lot of people for many different reasons. Life doesn’t always go to plan but stay calm: things will always be okay. There are still many options available to you.