Top tips to tackle exam stress

Top tips to tackle exam stress

Stressing over exams? Feel like you’re disappearing under a pile of essays? With exam time fast approaching, we recognise that it’s a stressful time and you might be experiencing worry and anxiety. 

Our Guest Blogger, Claire Nelson (Student Support Worker), has put together top tips to tackle exam stress and advice on how to look after yourself during this hectic time:


Get organised

If you have a diary or a calendar then getting your exam dates down so you know what to concentrate on first can be useful. Prioritise your workload and try to break tasks down into smaller and more manageable steps. 

Make sure you’re getting your 8 hours

Sleep is an important part of keeping mentally healthy during exam time. When we are able to rest and recharge, we wake up feeling able to deal with the day ahead. Being mindful of what we are doing on the run up to a night’s sleep is important. Try not to use your phone, TV or play computer games at least an hour before going to bed. Maybe take a bath or read a book instead.

Take breaks

When revising for an exam, it’s important to take regular breaks. 5-10 minutes every hour to stretch your legs or go outside for some fresh air ensures that you don’t burn out. The mind can become overloaded with information unless we make sure we are having rest breaks in between. Use that time to drink a glass of water or grab a healthy snack.

Physical exercise

Taking part in regular, physical exercise is a great way to stay both mentally and physically healthy during exam times. It can provide a well-needed break from studying and also contribute towards reducing stress hormones and increases positive endorphin chemicals which make you feel good. 

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself

It’s easy to forget social connections when you are facing exams. At times, these connections are just what we need to lift our mood and help us to relax. A trip to the cinema or a walk in nature is a great grounding technique.

Available resources

There are lots of resources available when you are feeling anxious or stressed. The University of the Highlands and Islands have put together a set of resources which may be helpful. Lots of these are available within the Library and the Support Hub.

Exam day

On the day, make sure you are up in plenty of time and eat breakfast so that you can focus on the exam and not your empty stomach. Try to keep relaxed, open minded and remember to switch your mobile phone off.

 After the exam

Try to keep positive once the exam is over. It’s easy to remember the questions you didn’t answer instead of focussing on all of the ones you did. Reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.


Support is here

The Student Support team are available throughout exam time. Drop-in runs from 9.30-11.30am every morning from within the Support Hub. If you would like to talk things through with the Student Support Worker, then please remember that we are here.

We hope that by implementing some of these tips into your schedule, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and ready to smash those exam. All the best J

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