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Top Tips to Conquer Exam Nerves


It is perfectly normal to feel nervous before an exam; but it is best not to let the feeling get the best of you.

Here are our ways to conquer the exams nerves!

1. Give yourself enough time to revise and prepare for the exam. During the revision period, also ensure that you get enough sleep and exercise - whilst eating healthily.

2. Prior to the exam, make sure you know where the exam room is.

3. Make sure you go to bed at a sensible time the night before the exam.

4. Avoid drinking alcohol the night before an exam.

5. However tempting it may be, try to avoid revising on the morning of the exam – as it may increase your pre-exam nerves.

6. Make yourself as comfortable as possible on the day of the exam; wear comfortable clothing and take some tissues and a bottle of un-named water in with you.

7. Make sure that you arrive with plenty of time before the exam.

8. At the beginning of your exam, make a plan of how you intend to spend your time (i.e. how much time on each question). Make sure that you stick to this plan, as it would ensure that you complete the entire exam on time.

9. During the exam, make sure that you pace yourself; allow enough time at the beginning to fully read the paper and make a plan of how you intend to answer the questions. Jumping straight in to answering a question might mean that you make a thoughtless mistake – which, in turn, could cause you to panic.

If you do start to panic during the examination:

Stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing; breathing in and out to a count of 5 – do this for as long as you need. It is important to remember that these periods of panic are only short-lived and will pass.

If you are unsure about an exam question, jot some ideas down and try to put them in an order that may help you to answer the question. Alternatively, you could stop and move on to another question - returning to the difficult question later in the exam.

The Advice & Support Centre team wish you all the best for exam time. Should you ever feel the need to seek practical advice, or simply to get things off your chest, do not hesitate to come in and speak to one of our Advisers.

Drop by: Hertfordshire Students’ Union Advice & Support Centre, Hutton, College Lane. Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00.

Telephone: 01707 285022 E-mail: advice@hertfordshire.su


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