Dealing with exam anxiety

Published April 29, 2013 by proxycore

Hello finned friends and two-legged visitors~

The time has arrived for the event that every student fears the most….exams! And for the lucky students taking IB, exams will begin in just a few days. I know most of us are starting to get overwhelmed by the copious amounts of reviewing (or cramming to learn new material) that we have to do. So here I’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to help relieve stress for your exams and hopefully reduce exam anxiety, also known as the list of things I haven’t been doing.

1. Time Management/ Preparation

When studying, it’s important to give yourself enough time to focus on your subject, but it’s also important to remember to take breaks. If you sit still and do one thing for too long, especially if it is something tedious like studying, you can easily lose focus (and end up blogging instead of studying…) But if you take breaks between every two hours or so, you might find that your focus is better during your study periods. It is also important to make time to study a little bit everyday so you aren’t cramming all the information at once. Test anxiety usually occurs when you don’t ready and the best way to combat that is to prepare properly. Start reviewing things about a month before your exam so you don’t overload your brain with information. My teacher once told me that everything your brain will retain will be from 24 hours before the exam. So say if your exam was at 9 a.m. on a Friday, anything you learn after 9 a.m. on the Thursday before you won’t be able to remember due to test anxiety. Now I don’t know how true this is but it’s a good rule of thumb to go by; after all, you don’t want to still be learning new material 1 day before the exam.

2. De-stressing

Try to take your mind off of the exam during your breaks between studying. Do something that relaxes you, like listening to music, or watching some T.V. But also to make sure to get moving as well. After sitting and studying for a long time your body can do with some movement to keep the blood flowing and moving to the squishy grey matter in our heads. I personally enjoy going for a jog during my breaks so I can get my blood flowing as well as clearing out some stress before I get back to studying. On that note, it’s important to drink enough water and eat proper ‘brain fuel’ while studying, which you can find examples of here.

3. Sleep

This is one of the most important tips to follow to reduce test anxiety. Enough sleep will ensure that your brain is functioning the best it can and that your focus won’t waver on the test. Your brain will also be able to pull out information easier when you are well rested. Do whatever you can to make sure that you are having good sleep not only the night before, but having good sleep consistently for a week or so before the exam. Drink calming teas and do relaxation exercises if you have insomnia like me. I personally found that I was able to study better and do better on the exam when I am well rested, and given that you should be budgeting your time properly, you shouldn’t need to pull an all-nighter anyways 😉

4. Motivation

Most important of all, you need to be motivated to study and approaching it with dedication and a positive attitude. This also happens to be a quality that I lack when it comes to studying….but just think, your future depends on your marks! Well, maybe….


Anyways, happy studying everyone! I hope we all get great marks and no test anxiety =)

On another note, this Friday is a very special day for me. And nope, it’s not because it’s the day of part two of the ELA 35 IB exam, but it’s actually the day that I turn 17! Yay~ So to celebrate that amazing day, I might have something amazing in store for you guys. So keep your eyes peeled!

Until then, Jellyfish out~


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