How to curb stress during exams



Exams are here again. There is no need to worry. They will be much less frightening when you have good strategies to handle the time pressure. Know that the most successful students also get anxious about exams, just like other students.

They might dread them for weeks and have days when they feel like doing anything but revision.

The difference is that successful students make it because they see exam tasks in more positive and practical ways. Exams are fundamentally a test of your ability to make the most of the time available to show as much as possible, and harvest all the points you can.

The key to managing them is to know the relevant material beforehand. Know exactly where your exam will be. This is very important; and read the exam timetable carefully.
Keep a positive attitude. Negativity does not help. Passing exams is not impossible. It is possible. Pray before the examinations. Philippians 4:6 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, (NIV)”

Focus on your goal of a successful examination. Don’t dwell on how fellow students have prepared. This will distract you from your own abilities. Rather, concentrate on your own preparation.

Don’t think of what you could or should have done. Make what you have done your strength and face the exam.

Practice writing quickly. Get your writing speed up while keeping your handwriting legible.
Be realistic with time management. Figure out what you can write in 45 minutes, which is usually the time given for an essay question.

First read every question carefully. Examiners have a nasty habit of dressing simple questions up in cumbersome and bewildering language. Don’t miss marks because questions are confusingly-worded.

Start with something you can really do. Decide which approach is best to keep you calm.
If catastrophe visits you and you have 19 minutes to go, quickly write down a summary of what you should have done in your script. This shows that you know your stuff. Examiners will most likely be kind, and try to give you some marks. Doing this is better than leaving a question unanswered.

Ask for a new script before you need it. If you know you are going to need more papers in a few minutes’ time, raise your hand up while you keep writing.
Don’t leave early.


Resist the temptation to leave the examination room early. Some students do this to escape from the tension of the exam room. Instead, sit and re-read what you have written; double-check all your answers; spelling and rewrite any illegible, quickly-written words.

Success in your exams.

The writer is a lecturer of in Social Work and Social Administration at BBUC