Being nervous for exams is something that everyone feels in their life no matter how many exams they’ve taken and unfortunately, they don’t just go away. However, there are ways you can manage your stress and pre-exam nerves, so it doesn’t feel as intense and won’t get in the way of you doing your best work throughout exam season. Below are a few tried and tested techniques that can help you stay calm, focused, and relaxed during this stressful time.
Take regular breaks
You might already be thinking that you don’t have time for breaks, and you should be revising 24/7 but trust me that won’t do you any favours. When many young people revise, they often forget the most important thing, their wellbeing! Trying to absorb yourself fully in work will just lead to you burning yourself out, not taking in any of the information your revising, and generally becoming overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated.
Regular breaks will ensure your brain and body gets the rest it needs. Switching off and allowing your batteries to recharge will help you revise more effectively when you do get back into it. If you’re someone who struggles to put the books down, there’s no harm in scheduling breaks into your daily timetable and plans. That way you can achieve a healthy balance between work and fun stuff.
The forty-twenty method is effective in this way. It refers to when you study for forty minutes and then take a break for twenty. Additionally, it might work best for you to take at least three one-hour breaks: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.
Get your body moving
Revision for a GCSE exam often means sitting in one place for long periods of time, which allows tension to build up and stress to take over. Exercise is a great way to stretch your muscles and allow your mind to relax. Don’t worry, you don’t need to leave yourself out of pocket for a pricey gym membership to feel the benefits of exercise.
Taking a walk in the fresh air and absorbing some sunlight or watching workout videos on YouTube are great for getting active. If you’re finding it difficult to relax your mind whilst walking, listening to a GCSE tutoring revision podcast can help you decompress and get your exercise in and subconsciously still revise at the same time.
Set yourself realistic goals
Organisation and forward planning are good, but it’s very easy to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to revision. Don’t go overboard with to-do lists and goals. It just adds unnecessary pressure onto your shoulders and leaves you feeling overwhelmed if you can’t keep up with schedule you’ve set yourself.
Remember, you don’t need to try and squeeze a week’s worth of revision into one day. Writing down a list of weekly goals and then dividing them into smaller, more manageable daily chunks will help to maximise your productivity without you feeling like you’re struggling to keep up. If you’re finding one GCSE subject especially challenging during your revision, it can be beneficial to seek private online tutoring with qualified teachers.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep
Your mood and productivity are directly linked to your sleep and how tired you’re feeling. It can be tempting to burn the candle at both ends and catch up with social media and Netflix at 3am after a day of revision. However, revision and exams will always feel less challenging and stressful after a good night of at least seven hours of sleep.
Your phone and TV aren’t going anywhere, and you’ll have a long summer to look forward to after exams. So, for now, focus on rest and getting plenty of sleep and you’ll feel fresh and ready to smash your exams.
Spend time with friends, family, and pets
Forcing yourself to revise when you’re feeling stressed will probably just make you more stressed and the cycle will continue. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious, take a break and hang out with those closest to you. Revising for exams can be lonely, so it’s important to balance that with plenty of face-to-face time with friends and family.
If you don’t feel like talking or seeing people, but still want some company, that’s where pets can help. Studies have shown that pet ownership and stroking animals, particularly dogs and cats, can boost mental health and reduce anxiety levels. So, if you’re feeling down, go and give your pet a big cuddle and unwind for when you do want to get back into revision, revitalised and ready.
Believe in yourself
Sometimes people become their own worst enemy, especially when they’re stressed and feeling under pressure. If you’re feeling your inner critic giving you a hard time, remind yourself of how far you’ve come already and how close you are to the end. Also, if you have online GCSE tutoring, speak to your tutor about how you’re feeling, and they can help support you and build your confidence in your abilities.
Adding some positive affirmations to your routine is a useful way of reminding yourself that you can do this if you’re into that kind of thing.
How private tutoring can help
If you find yourself struggling with your work in a particular subject and are worried about your GCSEs, getting a private tutor can help. Private, experienced tutors for GCSE are well-experienced in not just their subject but taking exams, so they can not only help you improve your knowledge in a subject but also support you in coping with pre-exam nerves and ensure you go into your GCSEs feeling prepared and ready.
Every student learns differently, some might grasp a subject instantly whilst others need extra time and support. Our tutors allow students to learn at their own pace without the pressure of being at the same level as their classmates.
Each tutor gives students the reassurance they need and the freedom to ask questions and speak openly about what they find challenging and what they want to work on. That extra bit of one-to-one help with a qualified tutor could be the difference between grades and help you feel more confident in your exams. Find the right tutor for you with My GCSE Tutor today to enhance your learning and achieve your true academic potential.