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Signs of exam stress

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Studying for your exams, whether you will be completing coursework, revising for exams, sorting our your revision techniques for exam season or performing a practical assessment is quite daunting, especially that you have to take more than one, but there are signs of exam stress that you need to keep an eye out for.

Weight change

This could be gaining or losing weight. Changes in your weight is one of the biggest factors in showing anxiety and stress issues, so if you do find that your weight has changed noticeably in a short space of time, contact your GP, College/School nurse or let your family know. You need to start de-stressing and keeping your anxiety levels under control before you continue. Ignoring these changes can be dangerous and lead onto other health issues, and if you don’t look after yourself now if may become worse later on.

Sleeping pattern

If you find yourself sleeping at weird times of the day, sleeping too much or not enough then there may be a problem. Being able to have a good night or sleep is a good indicator of your health and stress levels. If you find that you can’t drift off, or that your brain doesn’t easily wind down for you to sleep, try different remedies to relax before bedtime. Listening to relaxing music, or setting up a routine is a good way to get yourself into a great sleeping pattern. Sleep affects all aspects of your life, and learning is greatly affected by this, so it is important for you to manage this problem.

You can’t remember the last time you spoke to a human being

So this one is aimed at a niche audience, but it still happens! If you lock yourself away and spend all of your time revising and stressing out about your exam in a couple of weeks time, you won’t score very high. You need social interaction for support and just to keep you sane! Remember, you need to relax and socialise to keep your mind healthy, and that way, the information you are trying to revise will be easier to digest and to remember.

Feeling emotional

If your emotions are all over the place, and you find that you can snap, or start crying at any moment then you need to talk to someone. Colleges and schools have councillors, and your GP can recommend someone for you to have a chat with. Sometimes, just your friends or family can be a big help during this stressful time. You need to be in control of your emotions, and not let them control you!

Not thinking about anything else

If your brain is constantly worrying and working out how many minutes and seconds you have until your next exam – you’re not in a good place. Exams are important and so is revision, but that doesn’t mean it needs to occupy your entire life. Make sure to set some relaxing time after spending a long day revising, to set your body and mind back to neutral, whether it is watching a movie, having dinner or hanging out with friends.

Addicted to caffeine/sugar

If you feel that you need to drink coffee in the morning, or have a cup of tea every 34 minutes during revision, you may have a problem. Those Haribo’s won’t help you remember Titration or who wrote Lord of the Flies. Relying on sugar and caffeine is a bad choice as the withdrawal symptoms can be horrible. Try to eat healthy as your brain responds well to a balanced diet.

Exams and stress do go hand-in-hand during this time, but it is important to remember that your health is more important than a few extra marks, you need to know about coping with exam stress. There is a lot of support at your college or sixth form and from the people around you, try to remember to reach out for help when you need it.


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