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How to manage stress during exam periods

Stress management

Advice for the exam period

Exam periods can be very tiring. There’s a lot of pressure: you have to sit at your desk every day, you have to prove yourself over and over again in exams and there’s simply not enough time to see friends and just relax. This just leads to even more stress!

In this article you’ll discover tips on how to deal with stressful exam periods and how to prepare yourself for day of the exam.

Time management

Start preparing your study plan early. Find out which topics are covered in the exam and try to get an overview of what you already know and what you still need to do. This will help you keep a sense of control. Imagine looking at your notes the day before the exam and realising that you have completely missed a whole topic! Just think of the stress! This is why it is very useful to have a clear plan. You can learn how to create a revision plan with evulpo!

But be careful: don't plan too many things at once. Spread the material out generously. It's much more fun to tackle a small piece each day of the week than to spread it all out over two days and then be overwhelmed by a huge amount of work.

Tip: try not to study in a disorganised way. Choose a few subjects or topics each day and concentrate on them so that you don't get confused.


  • Set yourself goals so you know when you want to achieve what. This does not necessarily mean that you have to understand a whole subject in one day. It also means celebrating small successes, for example when you manage to solve all the physics exercises you set yourself for the day!
  • Plan mock exams. Find some past papers or ask your older brothers and sisters if they can find any exercises they had to solve in the past. Then simulate a real exam: put your phone on silent, put your books away and do the questions under exam conditions.
  • Plan breaks! Do yourself a favour and relax your body and mind from time to time. Get up, take a walk, make yourself a delicious lemonade or lie down. This will recharge your batteries and get you ready for your next revision session.

  • Preparing for the day of the exam

    Before the day of the exam you should make a list to prepare yourself for the day.
    • First of all, it is essential to get enough sleep, not only the night before the big event, but also during revision. You can read about the importance of sleep here.
    • Prepare your clothes the night before so that you are not stressed in the morning because you can’t pick an outfit!
    • Think about everything you need to take with you and pack your bag the night before. You will need enough pens, pencils, a rubber, a calculator, a small snack and a full bottle of water.
    • Take enough time on the morning of the exam. Freshen up with a shower, prepare a delicious and balanced breakfast and get to school early. You might also have a little ritual that calms your nerves before the exam, whether it's a walk in the fresh air or listening to your favourite song. Find out what makes you feel good and get yourself in the right frame of mind for the exam.
    • And don't forget: go to the toilet before the exam!

    • Advice for the exam

      When you’re sitting in your seat and the exam is in front of you, take a deep breath and write your name on the front of your paper first! Then, skim through the exam paper and familiarise yourself with the questions as this will help to calm you down. If you see a question that you know how to answer, do it first!

      And don't forget: read the questions carefully! Imagine that you have prepared for a topic, but you don't read the question properly and you answer it incorrectly as a result! This is easily avoidable.

      After the exam, you deserve a real break and a reward. Sit down in a café with your friends and enjoy a real big piece of chocolate cake! Or whatever takes your fancy! Try to avoid talking about the exam with your friends as this might make you feel worse about your own performance. Even if you put different answers to your friends, that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Change the subject and relax!

      Don’t think about the negative side of things

      If things don't go as well as you would have liked, don't blame yourself. You can’t change how the exam went but you can ask yourself the following questions:
      • Why didn't the exam go so well? What could be the reason? Did you get enough sleep? Did you forget a specific calculation?
      • What do you need to do better next time to avoid making these mistakes? Do you need to revise a topic in particular?

      • Don't give up, even if things don't always turn out the way you imagined. You learn from your mistakes and it's not the end of the world if you fail an exam. You try again and eventually you’ll get it right!
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