Mastering Exam Stress: Your Guide To Staying Calm & Confident

Mastering Exam Stress: Your Guide to Staying Calm and Confident

Exams offer a chance to exhibit your potential and achieve academic validation but also often bring stress. Amidst exam stress, everyone faces these challenges, yet, like millions before, you can navigate your stress with healthy and sustainable strategies
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Mastering Exam Stress – Your Guide to Staying Calm and Confident

 

Exams offer a chance to exhibit your potential and achieve academic validation but also often bring stress. Amidst exam stress, everyone faces these challenges, yet, like millions before, you can navigate your stress with healthy and sustainable strategies. As an online tutoring company, this blog will therefore provide a guide on staying calm and confident, covering effective revision techniques to inhibit burnout, mental preparation, and the importance of scheduling. If managed appropriately, stress can be channelled into motivation, enhancing performance in your exams and ultimately allowing you to master exam stress!

 

  1. REVISION TECHNIQUES

 

With exams comes the natural desire for high performance, but pushing oneself to the limits can lead to burnout. Working for hours without breaks and staying up late is counterproductive to academic success; a structured revision technique and timetable will yield better results. Therefore, I introduce the Pomodoro technique, which is a time management method to improve your effectiveness when completing tasks and revision:

 

  1. Set a timer to 20/25 minutes and complete as much of a task until the timer rings

 

  1. Enjoy a five-minute break

 

  1. Repeat this three times
  2. After four Pomodoros, take a 15-30 minute break

 

This technique is scientifically validated, as many scientists have corroborated that on average humans are hyper-focused for around 20 minutes. Moreover, structured breaks help combat procrastination, a major contributor to exam stress. Procrastination, coupled with the failure to complete tasks on your to-do list if you do not have a structured revision timetable, exacerbates the exam stress you can feel. Pomodoro therefore is an effective revision technique as it allows for task compartmentalisation that subsequently ensures effective revision and reduces exam stress.

 

It is also important to note that revision strategies are highly personal and tailored to individual characters and cognitive processes. Begin by experimenting with different revision techniques to identify the most effective ones for your information retention. Additionally, it’s crucial not to delve into every topic in-depth. Identifying weaknesses and strengths through mock papers allows you to focus on areas that need improvement, making it inefficient to spend a significant period of time on subjects you already understand well. Furthermore, subject-specific considerations matter. For example, while past papers benefit Maths and Sciences as exam boards ask similar questions every year, subjects like English and History are not structured the same and thus require different techniques. These are some examples of popular revision strategies that people use:

 

  1. Flashcards

 

  1. You can use online flashcards (Anki, Quizlet, etc..), but some people prefer physical flashcards

 

  1. Making Cornell Notes

 

  1. This entails active recall: read around a topic, condense, and organise notes into a grid

 

  1. For visual learners, I recommend that you note forgotten information in a different colour, with the date, to easily identify and address your weaknesses

 

  1. Making Posters

 

  1. This can be good to link ideas together, such as in a History timeline or themes/characters in English Literature

 

  1. Practicing Past Papers / Doing Example questions
  2. ‘Blurting’

 

 

  1. This is similar to Cornell Notes but is less organised. You can do this on an iPad if you choose to.

 

  1. Being Tested by Someone Else

 

  1. Teaching Someone Else

 

  1. Teaching someone else requires you to understand it well first, and so this acts as an effective way to check what you know.

 

In summary, crafting a comprehensive revision timetable that includes a healthy balance between work and relaxation time, as well as developing a personalised revision strategy, can significantly alleviate exam stress. This approach enables efficient and effective revision, enhancing your ability to succeed in exams!

 

  1. SCHEDULING

 

In conjunction with creating a comprehensive revision timetable, scheduling time for your mental health and rest is so important in order to master exam stress. Giving yourself an ‘off-day’ not only serves as an incentive for focused study but also mitigates the risk of burnout, promoting effective stress management.

 

It is very important to maintain your routine during revision and exams to safeguard both physical and mental well-being. Consistency is crucial for academic success, so disruptions to your rhythm may exacerbate stress. With that being said, continuing your gym routine, weekly pampering, and regular meals doesn’t waste time or hinder performance, but in fact, enhances it!

 

Another important tip is to never lose sleep. Adequate sleep is crucial for consolidating memory and long-term information retention. Insufficient sleep actually diminishes your cognitive functions, such as problem-solving and decision-making, impacting the quality of your work and exam performance.

 

Therefore, the incorporation of mental health breaks, and constantly taking care of your physical health, are vital strategies for effective stress management during exams. In adopting these tips, you are concurrently fostering your well-being, and enhancing overall success during exams.

 

 

  1. CONFIDENCE BOOSTS

 

Stress often arises from a sense of not being in control; rooted in the insecurity that one cannot perform effectively. Therefore, the most crucial step when beginning revision or exams is to affirm to yourself that you can and will succeed. Positive affirmations aligned with achievable goals form the foundation of your success. Confidence in your abilities is fundamental to mastering exam stress.

 

  1. Celebrate Small Wins

 

2. The more practice you do, the better you get at the subject.

 

3. Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements. If you finished studying a topic, watch a movie. If you spent the whole day at the library, go get a takeaway on your way home. This reinforces a positive self-image and helps you prioritise self-care

4.  Reflect on the progress you have made since beginning your revision – this will give you a positive outlook!

5.  Controlling Anxiety

6.There are a few ways to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or taking power naps when overstimulated

 

 

To conclude, exam stress is not always a negative thing, especially when treated with care and caution. You can and will overcome this period, and if you continue to work hard, will achieve your desired grades in the process. The overarching message of this blog is to take care of yourself in that process, you can be calm, healthy and happy whilst also working hard and progressing in your academics. This is a process that will take time, but I believe that you will get there, and you should believe in yourself too! At My Learning Room we are here to provide support across a range of subjects, with an A level English tutor online or a GCSE psychology tutor, we will help you achieve your goals.

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2023-12-13
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Elgin is a fantastic tutor very helpful and kind from the start. He is very considerate and has great knowledge overall making my son more confident academically. Thank you for all your hard work.
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I’ve been with this tuition company for about two years, and I can confidently say it has been an outstanding experience. The teachers are brilliant, providing excellent support in my doughter's learning journey. Booking and rearranging lessons are incredibly easy, adding to the overall convenience. I highly recommend this company for their commitment to quality education and user-friendly service.”Amna
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2023-10-17
My Learning Room is so much more than just a tutoring company!The one on one service is fantastic and the best experience I've encountered across the many tutoring companies we have tried (and not made much progress with). We were concerned about our son's progress at school and wanted to give him some extra help to ensure he can achieve his potential and open a few doors. We felt his school wasn't offering enough as he's a bright boy and capable of more. After failing to be convinced by a few other companies including a local tutor, we came across My Learning Room. We initially started with online GCSE Maths lessons after a very encouraging chat with Amer who was great to deal with. She listened and it was clear she really cared right from the start. The level of tutoring was impressive and we saw improvements within a short space of time. Knowledge on the curriculum was excellent and they focussed on key areas combined with tailored exam practise.We added online GCSE English and Science lessons and again the quality of online tutoring was clear to see, all tutors were very personable and helped build my son's confidence along with his knowledge of these subjects. A patient approach is what was required along with some key advice and techniques; My Learning Room delivered this exceptionally well. It wasn't long before his progress was noticed at school and he was placed in a higher set.My son achieved 8's & 9's across the board. We were simply overjoyed!I genuinely feel this wouldn't have been possible without Amer and the team. We were given advice on further studies, subjects to take and the grades required going forward. My son's confidence has grown so much over these last 2 years and we no longer worry as much as we used to. It was truly a blessing to come across these guys and the consistent positive feedback from the school, exam results and general progress in him as an individual has been such a bright note over these last couple of years.Thank you so much to everyone at My Learning Room. You will not be forgotten and we will keep in touch.
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Terri Ferguson
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Great company for anyone who needs that little extra help. My son was predicted a 4 at GCSE Maths, we started the tutoring once a week in December and he received his results 2 weeks ago and got a 6!His tutor was a university student so quite close to him in age and very relatable.Would highly recommend My Learning Room, they are extremely flexible, professional but also personable and according to my son quite fun.Thank you so much, if we need any additional tutoring during his 6th form we will be back.
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My son was very much struggling with his maths preparation approaching his GCSE’s. I was extremely worried although Amerpreet was absolutely amazing. Her calming approach was extremely beneficial and she has ignited a drive in my son that I’m sure will lead to amazing grades!