Managing end of year exam stress!
Written by Jenny Scott on 11 May 2023
I still have a reoccurring nightmare about my A level finals. I
turned up for what I thought was my economics final, but it wasn’t, it was
maths. I didn’t even have a calculator. After a momentary sob in the toilets, I
took a few deep breaths, and found my way to the exam room, borrowing a
calculator on route.
That day, I learned a lot about myself - some things I needed to improve on and other aspects of my character that helped me get through it. Since then, I have always managed to go to the correct exam at the right time - but more importantly I knew that even if I made the same mistake again things would be okay.
Here’s my top Aspire tips to putting your best foot forward
when it comes to exams.
- Get organised and write down all the key dates times and locations for each exam.
- Keep yourself organised with a structured weekly
plan for study. But think quality over quantity - Parkinson’s Law says
that work will expand to fill the time available for its completion.
Setting limits on study time will be your friend! Try a Pomodoro timer
like the one in the Aspire app or set yourself an alarm for a period of
deep focused study.
- Focus on Core concepts – but at a deeper level. Try
writing them down, making them into a story or using acronyms. Make sure
you understand the core concepts well before expanding elsewhere.
- Find out what you do know – and study what you
don’t. Don’t waste time making notes on stuff you already know!
- Consider Writing by hand. A 2014 study showed that
students who wrote notes by hand retained information much more
effectively than those who typed them. Write in your own words, use colour,
highlight key information and explain to others your understanding. This
will help embed the information into your brain!
wellness into your study schedule including times to have proper breaks. Exercise
can be a fantastic tool to help when it comes to revision. It gives your
brain time to consolidate the learning it has done and move the knowledge
from the short-term memory into the long term.
Lastly remember to breathe. Using breathing exercises just
before opening that exam paper or walking into the exam room can be a great
tool to help keep you calm and collected. Practice breathing in for four
seconds, hold for seven and blow out for eight. Repeat until you feel
Log in or request access to a demo version of Aspire to find
more information on thriving during exams.