5 Ways to Stay Calm during Exams Week

Dec, 3 2018

Cozy chair with a cup of coffee.


Study tips, exercises, and even diet can help relieve finals anxiety. Here are 5 tips to help you stay calm during your mid-term or final exams.

1. Create an effective study plan

Learn ahead of time where the exam will be held. Ask your teacher what material will be on the test, what you should study, how the test will be graded and how much it counts toward your overall class grade. Find out what supplies you need or are allowed to have with you during the test. Have all your material and research at hand when you’re ready to study. Prepare a strategy so you don’t waste time studying the wrong material.

When you are ready, follow these steps to ensure you can focus:

  • Choose a quiet place to study and make sure you are not interrupted or distracted.
  • Take regular breaks while studying.
  • Don’t stress if you feel overwhelmed. It’s natural to feel like this. 

2. Eat healthy and go easy on the caffeine

Eating healthy is always better for your body and brain than eating foods saturated with sugar and carbs, but during finals week try to eat clean too! This means try really hard to eat only natural, fresh foods. Your body will feel and run better and you will have a lot more energy than you would otherwise. 

A little bit of stimulant keeps you attentive, but too much will actually increase your anxiety and harm your body. You want to be alert, not a quivering basket case. Pace yourself, and make sure you’re eating something healthy every four hours.

3. Practice the power of positive thinking

Repeat to yourself:

  • “I have done my best, even if I feel I could have revised more, feeling this way is normal.”
  • “I will be okay, whatever happens, this exam will not be the only defining point in my life, I can only do my best and accept the result.”
  • “I do not need to be defined simply by how successful I am in an exam, there is more to me than that.”

Control your fear by repeating these phrases. If you think the worst, the worst may actually happen. So why risk it?

4. Get plenty of sleep

Sure, cramming for exams and sleeping are diametrically opposed. But they shouldn’t be. When you sleep for at least 6 hours after studying material, your brain remembers it much better. The information you studied percolates in your brain overnight so it can be retrieved for the test.

5. Treat Yourself

The day before the test, treat yourself to something – a special food, a small purchase, a call to a friend, a walk by the pond or listening to a favorite song. This emotional pick-me-up will tell yourself you are special and worthwhile, and that the test is not the end of the world.

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