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12 Tips For Students To Reduce Stress During Exams


  • What can be identified as exam stress?
  • Why do you experience exam stress?
  • Tips to reduce exam stress

“I can’t do this”

“How do I finish this?”

“I think I’m going to have a blackout”

“I’m going to fail”

Are these the feelings that haunt you when exams are nearing? This is called exam stress. At times the pressure of an approaching exam can help you prepare better.

However other times, the stress can be so overwhelming that it can ruin your focus. It is better not to allow the stress to build up to an extent that it ruins your preparation for the exams.

Through this blog, we have tried to enumerate some points on how to reduce exam stress.

Before we look into the guidelines of how to overcome exam stress, it is necessary to be able to identify this particular stress.

Just like a pill for a headache cannot treat tummy pain, you need to be able to recognize exam stress so that you can specifically treat it.We must identify the causes and effects of examination stress on students.

How Do You Know You Are Experiencing Exam Stress?

Exam stress does not manifest itself in any particular form. You may show one or more symptoms or a totally new symptom altogether.

So when you ask the question what is exam stress?  Just to give you an idea of what exam stress can look like, below are a few indications though not exhaustive.

Below are some effects of examination stress on students:

  • Having extreme mood swings
  • Not keeping in touch with friends
  • Biting nails
  • Overeating
  • Feeling unwell
  • Having an upset tummy
  • Suffering from headaches
  • Getting up at odd hours in the night
  • Unable to sleep
  • Feeling lethargic and unable to do your normal chores
  • Feeling low and sad
  • Sweaty palms
  • Breathlessness

These are exam stress symptoms that some students may experience.

Why Do You Experience Exam Stress?

Although you may be well prepared for an exam, you may still experience one or more of the symptoms above.

Being fully prepared for an exam does not eliminate exam stress, though it may help reduce the stress to an extent. You may experience exam stress for more reasons than one.

Some of the reasons can be compressed as follows:

  • Inadequate preparation
  • Pressure from teachers and parents
  • Competition between peers
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of time for preparation
  • Need for a particular result due to financial conditions.
  • Distractions from events at the time
  • Self-pressure
  • Inability to understand study material

Examination stress in students can reduce the ability to perform to your full capabilities. However exam stress and anxiety can be reduced considerably.

Here Are 12 Tips to Reduce Exam Stress:

1. Study Right

Studying right is one of the simplest ways to reduce exam stress. In our blog post tips for students to focus on studies, we have enlisted a few guidelines for students to improve their concentration on studies and thereby reduce exam stress in students.

Studying right means making the perfect arrangements so that you can concentrate on your studies. Thereby reducing the level of stress.

You must select a realistic portion to study. Do not try to cover vast portions in a small period of time. The pressure builds up.

Study every day so that you have time to cover portions over a longer period of time. It is also advisable to set a good time of the day to study. Select a time of the day that works well for you. Utilise that time to focus on your study schedule.

Applying the Pomodoro technique can also help in studying right. The Pomodoro technique uses quick breaks in between study schedules.

Studying right is one of the best ways for exam stress relief.

2. Revise

Revising portions can help in reducing exam stress for students. Keeping an updated exam timetable will allow you to prioritise your subjects and prepare well.

You can keep more time for studying tough subjects. This will reduce exam stress and anxiety to a great extent.

Revising means to go through the already studied portion multiple times. The more you revise the more chance you have of reducing exam stress.

3. Give Social Media a Break

Today, social media is one of the greatest distractions. Keeping social media at bay can help you concentrate more on your studies and exams.

Once you concentrate more, you will be more well prepared for exams and in turn this relieves exam stress.

Many students nowadays are addicted to social media. It takes up a lot of their time, which could have been used to study or prepare for examinations.

It is advisable to keep social media away in order to reduce exam stress and anxiety.

4. Attempt Mock Examinations

Mock examination gives you a rough idea of how the actual exam will look like. Attempting many mock exams will give you a lot of practice before the D day. As the saying goes ‘practice makes man perfect,’ you can be sure that your attempts at the mock exam will make you well prepared thus reducing exam stress. Mock exams prepare you well for the final exams.

5. Speak to Someone

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One of the best ways to relieve exam stress is to talk it out. You can talk to a teacher, your parents, friends, or even a professional therapist.

Talking to someone can relieve your stress. You need not necessarily speak of your exam stress and anxiety. You can also speak generally to someone. Talking releases stress.

A number of Government initiatives and NGOs come up with helplines for students. Students can call up these numbers and seek professional therapy to overcome stress during exams.

At times students hesitate to ask for help for fear of social stigma. Remember, seeking help is not a stigma. In fact, seeking help is courageous and not a cowardly act.

However, you can seek professional help while at the same time, remaining anonymous. Speaking about it to someone provides exam stress relief.

Some exam-related helplines are detailed below:

5.1 Exam Related Helplines
  • CBSE – 1800-11-8004
  • ICSE – (011) 26413820, 26411706, 30820091/94
  • JEE and NTA – 0120-6895200
  • IGNOU – 011-295327411
6. Take a Break

When you feel the exam stress getting the better of you, it is advisable to indulge in a bit of music for exam stress relief.

Listen to music that you like. Or listen to some calm and soothing tunes. You can watch your favourite tv show or watch a comedy.

Laughter is one of the best ways to reduce exam stress. Laughing is and will always be the best form of therapy. Taking a break and laughing is an effective exam stress tip.

7. Eat a Chocolate

Believe it or not, studies show that eating a bit of dark chocolate can reduce stress levels. The research on Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects”, was conducted by the Journal of Proteome Research. So why not try this method.

At the same time do not overeat and try to avoid too much caffeine. When you experience exam stress symptoms, a bit of chocolate may do the trick.

8. Adopt Relaxation Techniques

dog sleeping on bedAdopting techniques to relax is one of the best ways to overcome exam stress. The causes and effects of examination stress on students can have a negative impact on students.

Taking deep breaths through the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth is a relaxing technique. For more information on relaxation through breathing log on to UMHS.

Adopting other relaxation techniques like muscle relaxation and self-massage are also good stress-busters. You can learn a few techniques to relieve exam stress from here.

Exam stress and anxiety can be overcome greatly  by following these exam stress tips.

9. Spend Time with Family

While preparing for exams, it is vital to spend time with the family. Even half an hour with the family helps you to overcome stress.

Sharing a meal together at the table or just a small chat can help reduce the exam stress. Family is the support you can always count on. Whatever happens, they will be there to cheer you on for every of your life goals.

10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

One of the foremost rules of de-stressing is that you should not compare yourself to others. There is no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.

Notice the five fingers on your own hand. None of the five fingers are the same. Likewise, no individual, even from the same family are alike. Each person comes with their own journey.

Don’t compare yourself to others, love your own abilities. To overcome exam stress and anxiety, be your own person. Live your own dream.

11. Be Positive


“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better” – Dalai Lama

Another method to reduce exam stress is to have a positive attitude. You must have confidence in yourself and think positively. Always keep positive affirmations in mind.

“I am going to do well”

“This is easy”

“I am confident”

“I am well prepared”

Being optimistic is half the battle won.

12. Eat Light and Exercise Right

Overeating during exams is a sign of stress. Eat light but eat right. Have a well-balanced diet and avoid junk food during examinations.

Eating a good amount of brain food can help you to destress. Eating brain food can boost memory power too. Overeating is another effect of examination stress on students.

13. Shower or Bath

A nice shower or bath is one of the best ways to overcome exam stress. Scientific research has shown that a warm shower or bath reduces stress levels to a great extent.

14. Good Night

Baby Sleeping

Remember to always have a good night’s sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the body.

Hence it is apparent that sleeping well is one of the best ways to reduce exam stress in students. A good night’s sleep work wonders for de-stressing.

15. How to Beat Stress on The Day of The Examination

The morning of the exam. Too many things running in your mind. The stress is getting to you.

Breathe…………………………………………Relax…………………………….…….….You got it!

Too much stress on the morning of the exam is not good. It is ok to discuss study material with classmates outside the examination hall.

You never know what last-minute information might be useful. It’s also advisable to avoid interacting with other people who are perpetually stressed about exams.

We don’t want their tension rubbing off on you. The least you can do is forward them this blog and ask them to follow your de-stressing techniques.

While attempting an exam, concentrate on your own answers. Do not get flustered or worried when another student asks for an extra answering sheet. This will simply increase your exam stress and anxiety.

Do not keep looking at the clock. Repeatedly looking at the clock only stresses you out more. Keep a tab of the time. Time your answers well. This will considerably reduce exam stress.

After the exam do not discuss the answers with friends. The exam is done and dusted. There is no point in discussing the answers and worrying about what you have not written. Avoid the post mortem.

We can conclude that de-stressing during exams is vital. A stress-free atmosphere is of utmost importance while preparing for or writing an exam.

The techniques mentioned above are some of the best ways to overcome exam stress. You may have your own methods of de-stressing and you should do what works best for you.


We can conclude that de-stressing during exams is vital. A stress-free atmosphere is of utmost importance while preparing for or writing an exam.

The techniques mentioned above are some of the best ways to overcome exam stress. You may have your own methods of de-stressing and you should do what works best for you.

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