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June 5, 2018 | by  | in Mauri Ora | [ssba]

Mauri Ora

Managing exam pressure
Exam time is looming — and with it can come an enormous amount of stress and pressure. The right amount of stress can be a good thing, prompting us to do the preparation and work we need to in order to succeed. Too much, however, can have a detrimental effect on our performance. So how can you prepare for exams properly and ensure that when the big day comes, you are able to do your best?
Firstly, make sure you prepare really well. This sounds obvious, but cramming the night before isn’t usually the answer to success. If you ensure you have done enough work throughout the term, and focus on key topics, the chances are you will pass. If it seems insurmountable, break down the workload into manageable “chunks” – this is called microtasking, and it works!
Look after yourself – however much you might feel like pulling an all-nighter in the build-up to exams, this is actually the worst thing you can do. If you don’t properly look after your body, your mind won’t perform either. So get good sleep (6 hours minimum), eat well and regularly, stay hydrated, and take breaks to exercise or do something you enjoy. The time spent doing these things will be well worth it – you will come back to your study refreshed, with a greater ability to focus and retain information.
Put it all into perspective – it might not feel like it right now, but if you look at the big picture, this exam isn’t ACTUALLY the end of the world. If you build it up to be more important than it actually is, your anxiety will start to impact on your performance.
Focus on your breathing – if you find you are becoming anxious either while studying or in the exam itself, try to concentrate on taking slow deep breaths. Use your abdominal muscles to ensure you are filling your entire lungs. Breathe 4 or 5 times like this. Try to use your other senses at the same time. Your body will start to relax and you can start studying again more effectively.
Don’t hesitate to contact the health or counselling staff at Mauri Ora if you need more support or advice about exam preparation or performance.


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