How to De-Stress During Exam Time

Exam season is coming, and it’s easily the most stressful part of university. In fact, it’s likely to be the one time you don’t miss after you graduate and move forward. At the moment, though, it’s something you still have to face, and keeping your cool throughout exam time is an absolute must.

These tips can help.

  • It All Starts with Time Management: You know exams are coming. One of the best things you can do is prepare early. Create a revision timetable to help you stay organised throughout your course and during exam time. Whether you use an app for your phone or a more traditional diary, looking closely at the time you have available is a must to help you stay on track. One study found those who had cluttered schedules (and study spaces) had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Wondering why? Too much on your mind works like clutter. It’s distracting, and that can interfere with your brain’s ability to process information. Carefully scheduling the entire study process, though, means finishing in a reasonable time and leaving your brain a bit freer to focus on what you really love.


  • Take a Break: Be sure to take regular breaks during your study sessions. Generally, you should study for about 45 minutes, then take a fifteen-minute break. During that break, go for a brisk walk, meditate, or cook a healthy snack. After your time is up, though, make certain you get back to your schedule.


  • Sleep: Students don’t always sleep as much as they should, particularly during exam time, but sleep is absolutely essential. When you sleep well, your brain moves the knowledge you’ve gained from short term memory to long term memory, and that can actually help you perform well on your exams. It can’t happen, though, without six to eight hours of sleep each night.


  • Make a Date: While you certainly need to schedule time to study, you should also make a date with friends to take your mind off those tough concepts for a while. Leave your flat or your corner of the library, and meet some friends for a coffee. Go out for the evening and hit a club. Just don’t stay out too late!

Exam time doesn’t get any easier as you work your way through university, but a little stress relief can make things a lot easier!