During stressful periods, like around exams, it can be easy to fall into some bad habits. Here are a few ways NOT to cope with exam stress:
Setting Unrealistic Targets
Have you told yourself you can cover those 10 revision topics all in one night? Trying to cram in an entire module to one weekend? Setting unrealistic targets is setting yourself up for failure. Plan ahead of time to see what you can realistically cover & when. Focusing on manageable chunks is probably a better way of doing things.
Drinking too much Caffeine
A lot of us will reach for coffee or an energy drink to keep us awake longer to study. But actually, too much caffeine isn’t great for your concentration and can be very bad for your health. You’d do better to try a balanced diet, with lots of water around exams to keep yourself at the top of your game.
Just like lots of stressful situations, it’s very common to ignore that exams are coming up. The truth is, ignoring the problem will only make it worse. If you feel unprepared, just take a couple of hours to concentrate on planning, or chat with your lecturer, and then take it from there. Making a start is always the worst bit.
If you have spent the last few weeks beating yourself up that you haven’t done enough; please stop this now. Sure, a little bit of self-discipline is good, but too much negativity will be totally counterproductive. Give yourself a break & focus on what you can do before your exams.
Cutting Out Study Breaks
It might have seemed like a good idea at the time to go into complete ‘lock-down’ before your exam. But, you’ll probably find a few days in you’ll be struggling to take anything in. Remember to have regular breaks, some downtime and rewards for your work before exams.
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