Tips for dealing with exam stress - Part 1

With the HSC exams coming up, many teenagers are facing what is, for most, the biggest challenge yet. Everyone's individual reactions to it will be different. Many students, however, may be panicking. Follow our advice on taking exams, and reduce stress the easy way.

Plan your time
Draw up a realistic revision schedule and stick to it. Include some time for relaxation — it's not healthy to constantly have your nose in a book. To maximise your concentration, break up your time into 15-minute segments, interspersed by five-minute breaks. Knowing that you have a break coming up helps to prevent you from losing interest completely.

Don't be unrealistic
You've spent most of your life at school, and you have a good idea of what you're capable of. If you're an average student, you're unlikely to suddenly jump to the top of the class. Being realistic will help prevent you (and your parents!) from being disappointed when the results come in. The key thing is to do your best.

Avoid sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (but especially drugs)
Anything that can give you a high will eventually give you a low. Don't try to deal with your stress by turning to alcohol or recreational drugs — apart from anything else, you need all the memory you can get right now! Try not to drink too much coffee either — the caffeine won't help you to concentrate. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and your brain functioning at its best.

Revise methodically
Simply reading long swathes of text is not going to help you to remember facts and figures. Write out important dates, facts or passages, use lots of coloured pens and underline key phrases. Go back over these notes a day later, and then a week after that. Your memory will be better and you will feel more confident about your exams.


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