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Staying calm on the day of an exam

Before the exam

  1. Accept that you’ve done the best that you can

You can only do your best, so try not to put pressure on yourself to do more than that. You’ve spent time revising and know more than you think.

  1. Eat a healthy meal

It’s easy to forget to eat when feeling nervous. Eating a healthy meal before your exam will help you stay alert and focused during your exam.

  1. If you have time, refresh your memory with your revision notes

It’s too late to try and cover new topics, but going over revision notes will help focus your mind on your exam topic.

  1. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness encourages relaxation and positive thinking. Visualise yourself calmly sitting the exam, answering questions and feeling in control.

The Mindfulness Society hold online Zoom mindfulness sessions that are open to all students. Sign up to an online session.

During the exam

  1. Read the exam paper carefully

Take time at the beginning of the exam to make sure you understand what needs to be done. Throughout the exam, ensure you read the questions correctly.

  1. Stay positive

Try to avoid negative thoughts. Instead of thinking, “I’m going to fail” try and think “I’ll do my best and that’s all I can do.” Don’t think about what you should have done, pay attention to what you can do now.

  1. Relax yourself

If you feel yourself starting to panic, take a moment to relax. Concentrate on your breathing for a minute, and then return to your exam paper.

  1. Stay focused

Keep focused on yourself and your own exam. Don’t worry about how other people might be doing, or any other thoughts that might creep into your mind.


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