How to Beat Exam Stress

The month of March has always been popular in our country for quite a number of reasons. For many it is the month of prominent festivals like ‘Holi’ and ‘Ugadi’and for the business men and working class it is the end of financial year, but for the student community, March is the most dreaded month of the year – ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS!   This year,throughout the country around 16 lakh students are appearing for class 10th and over 11 lakh students are appearing for class 12th Boards, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).

The words ‘board exam, date sheets’, creates panic among students.  Exam Stress has become a common phenomenon

  • In most cases, stress among the students appearing for boards is caused by the high expectations of family and teachers
  • Most often the pressure is from within, students tend to spend time worrying about the difficulty level of the exams. The strong competition among peers adds to the stress levels.
  • Lack of preparedness and last minute cramming also add to the stress levels of the student

When we’re stressed, our brains release high levels of cortisol which clouds the way we think and gets in the way of rational thinking. Taking steps to de-stress will increase productivity, help study well and stop one from having a break down.

Top 6 tips to deal with exam stress:

Prioritize Time

Prioritizing time, subjects and work load will help reduce stress levels, this will ensure that the really important stuff is covered and at the right time.

Get Organized

It is very important to take time to organize study time. This will help make you feel confident in acing the exams. Working out a routine and sticking to it will help you feel in control.

Exercise and Eat Well

Exercise gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping – the result being that you sort of ‘wake up on the inside’. Exercise helps in making you more alert and in turn helps you study better. Similarly a good diet goes a long way in keeping you healthy and increasing your energy levels. Drink plenty of water in this period and avoid eating junk/unhealthy food. Keeping your body hydrated is very important.

Avoid Social Media

This will be a tough one for many students, but avoiding social media does wonders to your stress levels. Checking facebook, whastapp, instagram and other social media platforms is the worst type of procrastination, as we all know how quickly time disappears when surfing around social media.

Take Breaks

A recent research report by BBC reveals that the human brain’s average attention span has come down from 12 seconds to 8 seconds  in the past decade. This is the time span of our brain to concentrate on a particular text or visual continuously. Therefore it is advisable not to sit with books for long hours at a stretch. Take a break in between. Go for a run, listen to your favorite music, play your computer/mobile game for a while and then come back to study. It will re-energize your brain-cells and you’ll surprisingly feel an upsurge in your grasping power.


Get enough sleep to keep you energized for your exam. Not sleeping right can affect your mood, leading to an excess of stress. In the weeks leading up to the exam, make sleep a priority. Make sure you establish a regular bedtime. Go to sleep around the same time each night, and do something to help you wind down.

Remember, exams are important – but they’re not the only way to a successful future. Lots of people achieve success in life without doing well in school exams.

About the Author

St Andrews

St. Andrews School was established in 1985 to fulfill the vision of its founder, the late Mr. Louis Emanuel. He believed that 'education is a service' and his mission was to instill in young people the value of 'education for life'. Throughout its history, the school has striven to do just that. St. Andrews is committed to strong academic standards and holistic education as demonstrated through an incredible range of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.

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