Dealing with exam stress

How do I manage my stress and anxiety levels during examination season? I always had trouble with controlling my stress and ended up making careless mistakes during the exam.


Hey @blue ! Thank you for your question. We all have been there before. Walk into the exam hall, heart beats abit faster, head still trying to recall those important facts - praying it doesnt fall off my head. Open paper, thoughts begin to unfold rapidly and starts to sweat (either psychologically or physiologically) =D

Exams is definitely a stressful period, as it is a make or break in many ways.

Could try some of these:

  1. What works for me when I was a student was to either to mentally simulate that I am at the examination hall when I do past exam questions. That means abiding all the time limit being imposed.

  2. You could also get your friends to do a quick fire questioning round for revision. The idea is for you to get used to the elevated stress level. You could then use that to create emotional attachments to the things you have learnt. There are numerous studies on that too. Just quoting 1: “Substantial evidence has established that emotional events are remembered more clearly, accurately and for longer periods of time than are neutral events.” (The Influences of Emotion on Learning and Memory)

The idea here is to realize the source of the anxiety. Is it due to the lack of mastery of the subject, or in general the lack of familiarity to such stressful situations (afterall it is only once a subject term!)

Here are some other resources you can check out too!
Youth mindline: Exam Stress
Performance Anxiety: Performance Anxiety: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & More

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yah exam stresses are no joke, but maybe what’s good that you could try is to sit down and do some organising, could be simple things like these ↓↓ where you set a date or time for when you want to get certain things done.

  1. What to study ( be specific so that you don’t study so many things at once)
  2. Drink water
  3. Doing chores
  4. Watching some videos that you enjoy.

So when you feel stressed out and can’t seem to progress, at least you can refer back to your list to see that you have everything laid out in front of you and can feel like you got things under control that you know that you can feel more rested.

You don’t have to get everything done at once, but pacing yourself is good. Do one thing at a time.

Know that no matter what mistakes you make, they do not define you. You are more than your grades alone, so do not be discouraged if you made a few mistakes, there is always room for improvement and growth! Have a blessed day blue :blue_heart:

Specifically for the exam itself, I found it helpful to

  1. Drink enough water - this helped me think clearer during the exam but you’d also need to time your toilet breaks properly

  2. Wear a jacket - being warm and comfortable also helps

  3. Eat some sweets? - this is probably people-dependent. Some say sugar makes them sluggish but sugar gives me that energy rush

Hi! i think this is a very common thing faced by students, esp since everything is so fast-paced and competitive in Singapore! here are some things I do to help cope with exam stress!

1. Deep breathing

  • right before the paper starts! It helps keep me grounded : )

2. Getting all the materials i need ready + packing my bag the day before

  • so i dont have to rush in the morning/ before the exam!

3. Eat, sleep and drink loads of water

4. Exercising and moving my body.

  • other than eating, exercising was the only “joy” i had every day when I was studying for my big standardised exam 3 years ago. It requires a little bit of discipline, but it really gives you some dopamine and makes me feel a lot happier + more active throughout the day!

5. Study w friends

  • for moral support (super important)

6. I give myself pep talks haha.

7. Fear-setting exercise!
I find that it helps with rationalising my thoughts
Basically list down:

  • what you’re scared of (what’s the worst that could happen)
  • how do you prevent the worst from happening
  • how can you repair/ fix the situation if the worst happens?

I need help with my upcoming end of year oral exam. I cannot talk to people and i find it super hard to talk to the teacher. I feel myself almost crying because of it… my mind talks but my mouth doesn’t. Is annoying me alot… anyone knows how to help? :frowning:

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Hi @arya.z

Do you have a friend or a teacher to practice with you on engaging conversations?

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No i don’t have anyone :frowning: my friend won’t practice with me she say is useless… and plus, i can talk to people im comfortable with… oral is a random teacher i wouldn’t know which is why is harder to speak:(

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Do you find it hard because you have to look at the person’s face? One small tip that you can try - focus on their person’s mouth or nose instead so that it’s not so intimidating.

If your mind goes blank, try focusing on one topic at a time. Take your time to describe and explain your thinking before moving on to the next topic. The hardest part (in my experience) is starting but once you start and get into the flow of things, it gets easier. Remember that the teacher is there to help you pass - hopefully that gives you a bit more confidence.

Hi @arya.z

I hear you. I agree with @Jaws… maybe you could try the 2 things he suggested

  1. Don’t focus on the teacher’s face but rather focus on the nose/ mouth…

Alternatively what’s been helpful for me is to “replace” the teacher’s face with a friends so I imagine that I’m talking to a friend instead of the teacher (minus the slangs and Singlish haha). Just take that the teacher is a new friend in making.

  1. Focus on one topic at a time, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to start talking but once you start, it might get easier.

Some other helpful tips I can think of is to find a random photo of someone and practice talking to that someone.

But just remember to take it easy during exams, as hard as it is, take deep breaths, pace your breathing and give yourself as much positive affirmation as you can, don’t let your mind wander to the worst possible outcome.

I wish you all the best for your oral!