The key to feeling relaxed on the day of an exam lies in what you do the night before.
Exam Day-eve is ALL about preparation. No one wants to be running around at the last minute because they can’t find a black pen or their calculator or their clear pencil case. Set time aside the night before an exam and get ready.
Here’s a checklist to get you exam-ready:
- Stop studying – we know it sounds counter-intuitive, but you have to stop studying at some point! Cramming all night for an exam will do you no favours
- Pack your school bag – laptop (if needed), water bottle, student ID
- Collect all of your exam essentials and put them in a clear case- pens, pencils, rubber, highlighter, calculator, ruler, coloured pencils
- Plan you school route – will you be driving, getting the train/bus, getting dropped off? Have these decisions made early to avoid last minute panic
- Set an alarm for the next morning – set two or three if you are prone to blindly turning off your alarm to catch some more z’s
- Go to bed early – we have all heard it a hundred times before but having a good sleep is the best thing you can do the night before an exam
The morning of:
You should dedicate the morning of exam day to your own wellbeing. It is a good idea to wake up early, so that you can go about your morning routine in a calm, leisurely manner. Eat a yummy, healthy breakfast, drink plenty of water, listen to some music. Enjoy yourself!
If your exam is scheduled to take place in the morning, aim to get to school nice and early. We might be starting to sound like a broken record but last minute panic is definitely something you want to avoid and traffic is not something that you can control.
Once you are at school, there are a few different things that you could do and we suggest choosing one that keeps you as calm as possible. If you are likely to start feeling anxious when you see other people stressing over an exam, go and sit in a quiet place where you can be left alone, like the library. This way, you can read over your notes (if you choose to do so) or just relax in a stress-free environment. If you prefer to be around your friends, you could decide not to talk about the exam and just enjoy hanging out together, or you could have a fun (STRESS FREE) study session before the exam begins.
For those who have exams scheduled in the afternoon, there are, again, a few different things that you could do. You might decide that the most relaxed environment is at home, where you can study alone. Create a calming environment where you can read over your notes. If studying the morning of an exam is likely to increase your anxiety levels, we suggest doing something relaxing instead – read a book, watch a movie or play with your dog/cat!
Light exercise can work wonders for your brain so, if you have the time, you might find a quick walk around the block very beneficial. Don’t forget to eat a healthy lunch if you exam is after lunchtime – no one wants to be this person…
You might have noticed a pretty strong theme throughout this article. Being prepared is the best way to avoid any last minute panic and stress and will ensure you can walk into your exam feeling calm, confident and in control.