How to deal with exam stress

With the semester coming to an end it only means one thing for students, exams and deadlines. This can be a very overwhelming time of year, causing people to stress and be under a lot of pressure to do well when there’s also the distraction of Christmas and New Year which we want to enjoy!

Studying in a University Library

 An NUS survey found that 87% of students experience stress, while 77% of students suffered with anxiety, which is considerably high when most universities claim to offer mental health and exam pressure assistance.

This leads to the question of what can we do to prevent these feelings or how can we reduce them, because without trying to limit our stress it will just increase over time. So here are some tips on how to reduce stress and make ourselves feel better around this overwhelming and pressurising time: 

1. Exercise, Sleep and Eat Well

This may be an obvious one but our health on the inside projects on the outside, pulling all-nighters, not moving your body enough and poor eating habits can increase anxiety. Obviously as students a gym membership may not be realistic, but even walking and home work outs are a form of exercise.

So make sure you’re getting at-least 8 hours of sleep, drinking 2 litres of water and eating a well balanced diet, because them all-combined will have a great affect on your mental and physical health.

Heres tips on how to exercise and and find motivation as a student:

2. Set Goals and Plan

At this time of year there is a lot to do, which means prioritising is important. From exams, assignments and a social life, but also focusing on self-care it’s hard to plan your time. Setting goals and planning your days is key, as it allows you to know when you’re free and busy to focus on tasks.

Try writing down a work schedule, breaking tasks and activities down, this can also help give an idea of whats urgent and not so urgent. Time management is key!

3. Meditation

This may seem like a joke to some, but meditation is becoming increasingly popular with helping people cope with anxiety and stress. Research has shown that constant meditation helps you slow down racing thoughts, let go of negativity and calm our minds and body, but it also works as a relaxing technique for panic attacks. It enables us to to feel calm and be at one with ourselves, separating us from our stresses in the real world. Apps such as: The Mindfulness App, Calm and Headspace are the best.

Man meditating


4.  Have some ‘me’ time

A lot of the time during university you loose yourself and who you are, this is because it’s so new and life changing the experience which means some people can loose and not focus on them self enough. This is understandable as we’re meeting new people, new levels of education and for some moving a way from home, but to keep calm and maybe increase your mood in hard times try doing something you’ve always loved and enjoy.

Whether you take up a new hobby, listen to music or having some simple self care, it be it’ll be comforting and make you feel at ease.

5. Talk to someone

This may seem like an obvious one but it’s so important. Speaking to someone whether it be family, friends, university staff or doctors – every little helps; in most of these cases each of these people will be able to offer some kind of advice to help you get through the more tough times. Not doing this can make you feel very isolated, meaning more anxiety is built up so by speaking to someone if helps you get everything off your chest and also be comforted.

Do you feel your university offers enough support on mental health or those struggling?

I wouldn’t know
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If you are struggling with university do reach out to someone or get some form of help if any of these tips aren’t working.

Canterbury Christ Church Wellbeing Team:01227 922675

University of Kent Wellbeing Services: 01227 823158