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Everyone deals with pressure differently. But there are some simple things you can do to help stay healthy and well during your time at college - and beyond.

Most people feel anxious before an exam, but it's important not to let anxiety have a negative effect on your performance. This includes avoiding stress during your exam preparation as well as on the day.

While some stress can help you to stay motivated, too much can be unhelpful. We hope some of these tips and resources will help de-stress you during the exam period.

If you feel that your stress is unmanageable, or if you feel anxious all or most of the time, seek support.

Tips for Exam Success

There are lots of tips out there to help you prepare for exams and manage exam stress.

Here’s some of ours:

  • Make a clear revision plan before you start and try to stick to it. Having a study plan will make you feel more in control and you’ll feel much calmer when the exam period starts.
  • Practicing past exam papers is an important part of fostering good exam technique. Start now if you haven’t already.
  • Take plenty of breaks, get good sleep, exercise, reduce your caffeine intake and eat healthy. All these will keep your energy levels and concentration in order.
  • When you get into an exam try not to panic – breathe and take time to calm down. Read the questions a few times and then set time aside for each. If you’re struggling on a certain question, leave it and come back to it later.
  • Once you’ve finished the exam don’t think about it anymore - it’s done. Scrutinising answers and worrying about how you did may increase anxiety and might affect how you do in other exams.
  • Doing badly in an exam is not ideal but it’s vital not to put too much pressure on yourself. When you do get your grade, you can make informed decisions about what to do next.
  • You are not alone.  Stress has an awful way of making us feel isolated, but everyone feels stress during exam time. Ask for help!
  • Remember – you can only do your best.

Avoid Procrastination

We know what we should be doing; but often we just don't want to do it, so we put if off. Whether it’s getting your assignment done or revising for exams. Here’s some tips for students to stop procrastinating. Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts and focus on one part at the time.

  • Get organised and try not to over complicate things, break tasks down
  • Set goals and make timelines to complete them
  • Remove distractions (aka the phone) and find somewhere comfy to study
  • Take breaks and reward yourself
  • Take action… Just do it!
A* in Exams
Say 'No' to Exam Stress
Student Exam Passport
Promoting Belonging, Growth Mindset, and Resilience to Foster Student Success
The Exam Skills Handbook
14 Days to Exam Success
Skills for Success

Helpful habits

  • Think about when & where you work best
  • Take regular breaks
  • Eat well
  • Drink lots of water
  • Keep active
  • Sleep well
  • Relax


Unhelpful habits

  • Setting unachievable goals
  • Removing all enjoyment from your life
  • Stimulants


Exams can seem really scary but if you prepare and manage your time efficiently there should be nothing to stop you succeeding.

Be positive and remember the library is here to help. If we can't help, we will try to direct you to someone who can!


⇒ Research Skills Guide