At the moment with the stress of the year 12 mocks for A level’s and other exams for younger years, it is very hard to stay motivated and keep going even if you want to do well. The stress and anxiety can get to you big time since we are constantly being told that this is a big percentage of our predicted grade for A-levels. As a result, I wanted to dedicate some of my time to research ways in which we could reduce our anxiety and stress levels or if they can be non-existent at all?

So how do you make sure you’re looking after yourself? (1) Create a (Realistic) Revision Timetable. Even though you hope to spend every moment doing past papers and making flash cards for revision, this may not work for you as you’ll be able to see that the information does not stay permanently within your mind and you will easily forget. Therefore, use a productivity app like Study Planner or GetRevising (where you can input your exam dates and prioritise your subjects with different levels of intensity and your own personal preferences). This will most likely make it easier for you in the long-term as short effective revision will do far better than unrealistic cramming that you will regret. This leads me onto my second point, (2) Don’t Cram! A scientific report suggests that spacing your study sessions is a much more effective way of retaining all the important information you need rather than trying to cram it all into your head in one mammoth sitting. Pulling an all-nighter to revise for an exam will do a lot more harm than good, and I know that everyone is subject to this one as sometimes it is the only way if you haven’t had time to revise or haven’t done enough however, little and often is the best way to prepare for an exams, that’s what all the top students say anyway. Maybe think about starting early and giving yourself plenty of time to revise everything at a nice and steady pace will make last minute dashes a thing of the past and help get rid of any pre-exam anxiety.

(3) Work Hard Play Hard - You need to be able to realistically balance work with play to stay sane during exam season; barricading yourself in your bedroom for weeks on end will make you unhappy and compromise your health. No one can study 24/7 so don’t blame yourself when you find that you’re on Instagram liking posts or on snapchat chatting to all your friends. It’s normal, healthy and it’s not a crime to break away from revision. Remember to take short regular breaks to avoid procrastination and becoming depressed. You might be laughing at this but it’s true, many have found hours of studying has lead them into a state of depression and unhappiness where they feel like nothing is going right; this is very damaging to your mental health. In fact, one of the best breaks you can take is a nap. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that a short 20-30 minute nap restored energy levels and alertness as well as boosting overall performance. Finally, my most important point is (4) To Take Care of Yourself. Going to bed very late and getting less than 6 hours of sleep can be very detrimental to your health, especially in the long term. Some people can manage this but it is definitely not a good habit, so avoid that. Another tip is to exercise; this has long been known as a powerful tool to combat stress and boost your mood. It also has the added benefit of helping you get to sleep at night. It’s not just your physical health you should take care of, but your mental health too. Being stuck inside your own head for too long can encourage low moods therefore finding a productive way such as joint revision sessions with friends could be really beneficial. Not only that, it will remind you that everyone’s in the same boat, rather than you feeling as though you’re suffering alone.

Remember that exam results don’t define who you are as a person because if you know that you have done your best, that is all that matters. Of course, you might think that it’s easy to say but if you programme your brain to think this way you will feel happy too and feel more determined to do well.

Good luck to everyone with exams currently and I hope everyone achieves what they want!