Stress is normal. In fact, it is good to have a little stress now and then. There IS such a thing as good stress. It’s what makes us human. Too much stress, however, can be really bad – and that’s an understatement. Excessive stress can cause a long list of mental and physical problems. In college, exams tend to be the major stressors. Here are 5 quick tips that can help you beat this stress and ace your exams, all while staying at your healthiest.
5 Ways to Deal with Exam Stress in College:
- Plan a Schedule and Stick to it
- Set Achievable Goals
- Take Test Exams
- Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
- Talk To People
Planning a schedule in college can be challenging, but it is essential to ensure that you make the most of your time and achieve your academic goals while getting the best college experience. You can start by reviewing your course requirements and making a list of classes you need to take. Then, you should consider your personal preferences and factor in any extracurricular activities, work commitments, or study groups. Once you have a clear understanding of your schedule requirements, you can use a planner or calendar to map out your schedule, being sure to allow sufficient time for studying, preparing for exams, and breaks to clear your mind. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your schedule can help you stay on track and make the most of your college experience.
A common cause of burnout and demotivation is the setting of unrealistic goals. Many students try to chase a perfect GPA or aim for the highest possible scores in specific subjects, only to lose this drive when they fail to achieve their targets. It’s important to start slow by setting goals that you know you can reach with little effort. As you progress, you can revise your goals and raise the bar slightly higher each time. It isn’t the end of the world if you don’t achieve all your goals. Treat each failure as an opportunity to understand yourself better. And lastly – never compare your goals with those of others. Every college student is different, with different ambitions, and different personal motivations. Setting goals based on those of your peers can be quite counterproductive. You are the most qualified person to set goals for yourself, with 15+ years of experience in being you. So make your own reasonable goals and do your best to reach them.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is by getting familiar with the stressor, i.e the cause of your stress. Riding a bike is hard at first, but with practice, you can get to a point where it comes as naturally to you as breathing. Taking test exams can have the same effect. You could ask your professors to help you get access to practice questions or exam papers from previous years. Test exams will put you in the right mindset for the actual exams. And in test exams, there’s no passing or failing.
Many students focus so much on planning their schedules and sticking to them that they forget a very important aspect of the process – maintaining physical health. Skipping meals and eating junk food at odd hours may seem harmless at first but it can prove detrimental in the long run. That’s why it’s important to factor in meals and water breaks while making your college schedule. It’s easy to get carried away or to get so “in the zone” while studying that you forget to eat healthy or stay hydrated. It’s perfectly okay to set reminders to drink water and eat on time. Keeping a clock and a bowl of fruits on your study table can be just the reminder you need.
If you’re feeling stressed about upcoming exams, it’s highly likely that your classmates are too. Stress is natural, and talking about it can prove to be helpful. Many students find group study quite effective in this regard. If that doesn’t work for you, you could approach your professors and discuss what’s causing your anxiety and figure out how to be better prepared for the exams. Most colleges today have dedicated student counselors who are trained to help students with issues like exam anxiety.
Exam-related anxiety is very common among college students. It is good to have a light amount of stress every now and then, but excessive stress can be a serious issue. 5 suggested ways to beat this, as discussed in this article, are: planning a schedule, setting achievable goals, taking test exams, eating healthy, and talking to peers, professors, or counselors.
With these tips, you should be able to keep your anxiety at a healthy level and get the best college experience even during your exams.
Cheers and best of luck!