This week on The Clinic, Michael and Steph talk about common exam anxieties, whilst sharing revision tips and stress relief techniques to help get you through the exam period. The show is joined by Gemma who tells us the results of an interview with one her lecturers, about their opinions and advice to do well in exams.
Here are some ways we found that helped us survive stressful deadlines:
1. Set out a clear revision plan: One of the most stressful things about the exam period is that it can be overwhelming to have so much to do. In order to make it feel manageable, writing all the tasks you need to do down and being able to compartmentalise and help make sense of it all!
2. Revise in the best way for you: Work out if you are a visual learner, a doing learner or a listening learner! Find the best way for you to remember things, whether that’s through posters, repeatedly writing down notes to drill them in, watching videos or taking Michael and Steph’s approach and talking to yourself in the mirror!
3. Take time out to chill: Give yourself small rewards when you’ve completed a task or done an hour or two of revision. Go for a walk, go to the gym, have some chocolate or watch an episode of a light hearted programme to cheer yourself up!
4. The bear necessities: There is no point revising if you aren’t looking after yourself enough to be on your best form. When stressed, it is easy to forget to look after yourself but make sure you are sleeping, eating and showering!
5. Have a bedtime routine: When you have so much to do, it can be difficult to wind down and go to sleep at night. Sleeping is essential as that is when your brain absorbs all the information from the day before. Making a routine will encourage your body to turn off, meaning that you can work at your best tomorrow. Listen to some relaxing music, watch some ted talks, read a book or have a bath to relax yourself before bed.
6. Exercise: When you’re sat inside all day revising, it is easy to feel sluggish and claustrophobic. Take half an hour to go for a walk, a run or even the gym, just to get your heart pumping and some good endorphins flowing. The fresh air will clear your head and allow you to process the information you’ve spent the day taking in.
7. Don’t isolate yourself: As important as revision is, you will go mad if you go weeks on end without talking to another human you will drive yourself a little mad!! Offer to have a cup of tea with your housemates, have revision sessions with your course mates or go for a walk with some friends! Distracting yourself for a bit will be better for your wellbeing in the long run.
8. Remember that exams are not the be all and end all: As important as good results are, they are not the only thing you need to get a job. In interviews, they will be more likely to take into account your personality, drive and experiences as well as your qualifications.
9. Take time out if needed: If you are finding exams and deadlines too much because of personal circumstances, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Email your personal tutor and tell them about your circumstances and they can advice you on what forms you need to fill out, and the evidence you will need in order to get excenuating circumstances. This will allow you to have extended dates on deadlines, or help in exams in order for you to have a fair chance as the rest of your peers. For further advice on this please go to the University website page here.
10. You got this!! Just know that every student is struggling with you, and the only thing your can do is your best. If your health is at its best, you’ll be able to put your all into your pieces of work. If you find that stress is getting on top of you, the university website offers some tips here.
Disclaimer: We are by no means professions, and are giving advice based on our own experiences and opinions on what we would do in these situations. If you feel affected by anything we talk about on our show, please seek extra help via the university’s services or counselling.
If you are struggling, please look into the support services that the university offers here.
“Ladies, We Need To Talk”
Periods and the never-ending stream of hormones that come with it can be difficult to deal with at the best at times. They cause unexplainable bouts of anxiety, unprompted crying sessions and cramps that would make anyone want to crawl back in to bed. So, it comes as no surprise that when combined with the stress of the examination period things could become unbearable.
Walking in to an exam with crippling cramps and thoughts of self-doubt can make the task at hand seem particularly challenging so The Clinic show team have compiled some of their top tips for surviving an exam when it co-insides with your time of the month.
Firstly, we’d recommend practising mindfulness whilst your sat in the exam. If things feel like they’re getting too much just take a second to breathe and ground yourself, remember that you have prepared for this exam and that you can do this – no matter what your anxiety might be telling you. Then, make sure you write down any key facts or statistics that you’re likely to forget in bullet points or a fully formed essay plan. This way if your memory starts to play up you can just flip back to this to put you back on track.
When it comes to the more physical symptoms of the period, like cramps, make sure you take a bottle of water in to the exam and stay hydrated. Make sure you take some painkillers before you head in to the exam hall as well to put the cramps at bay for the duration. If things get really bad and you start to feel ill remember that, although it may not be ideal, you can leave the exam to head to the toilet if you have to, so don’t feel like you’re trapped.
Most importantly try and have something nice organised after the exam to make you feel better. Whether that be meeting up with friends for a film night or having a pamper evening by yourself. Just make sure there’s something for you to look forward to for those moments during the exam when you feel really rubbish
Read Gemma’s blog here:
Ladies, We Need To Talk