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How to manage exam stress

How to manage exam stress

With exams just around the corner for many students, Edith Cowan University (ECU) Education expert Dr Mandie Shean says managing exam stress is important to perform at our best, but equally important is to remember there's much more in a person's future than just exams. 

How to manage exam stress

Dr Shean’s top tips for managing exam stress include:

Push through uncomfortable feelings 
Whenever you do something that’s challenging, feelings of stress are showing you that you’re a little bit outside of your comfort zone. Those uncomfortable feelings are normal. Everyone feels them and they’re not a flag to say stop what you’re doing and retreat. They’re a flag to say you’re going to grow and learn and be a better person at the end of this. 

Don’t fear failure

When we’re doing something challenging, we can often fear failure and that leads to stress. But it’s important to remember there are multiple pathways to success and one failure doesn’t define your life. 

Don’t overthink it

When we’re stressed, we tend to think about the bad thing over and over. What that’s doing is telling your body that you are under threat. It’s important to distract yourself, to think about something positive and to take control of your thoughts. 

Understand how you like to work

A really good way to reduce exam stress is to be prepared. Make yourself a good study schedule. Work out whether you like to study alone or with friends. Eat well, drink lots of water and sleep well. Preparation really helps reduce our sense of threat before the event.

Need more ideas? Read our four science-backed ways to manage stress here.

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