It’s essential to recognise that these are challenging times that you could not have prepared for. It’s okay if this has had an impact on how you are feeling about your exams. It is entirely normal, but some things might be useful to keep in mind.
- Focus on what you can control- In times of uncertainty, it’s natural for us to think about, or worry about what might happen in the future. For lots of us, this can be unhelpful as we are worrying about something that we cannot influence or control. When it comes to your exams, focus on what you can manage and try to prepare for your exams as if they are going ahead. Although this is not an easy task, it is the easiest way to try and keep our minds on track and keep motivated.
- Try to create a routine and study space- Keeping a study routine is a helpful way of staying on track. Put together a study timetable with time slots to focus on different subjects and schedule regular breaks. This can help manage feelings of stress as you know you have a plan in place with the time given to each topic you are studying. If you have a place in your home where you can make your own study space, this can help. Research has shown that when we learn in an environment similar to the one where you will do your exams, it can help us when trying to remember information.
- Ask for support from those you live with- Due to social distancing, you are probably spending a lot more time, possibly in limited space, with your family. Spending time with the same people for an extended period can be difficult, especially while trying to study. If you are finding that there is tension at home, you can read some of our advice on reducing arguments here. Try explaining to your family how important it is for you to have a quiet space without distractions. Ask if they can help you to create a study space away from others in the house.
- Take breaks- If we are feeling stressed or anxious about exams, we can sometimes get too focused on the amount of time we are sitting at a desk studying. No matter how motivated we are, there is only so long we can focus on and take in information. Taking regular breaks is critical for us to be able to process and remember new information. When you do take a break, move away from the space you are studying as much as possible, so you recognise and feel that you have taken a break. Getting out and getting fresh air or doing some exercise, even if it is for a short time, is good for our wellbeing.
- Talk to someone- If you feel you are becoming overwhelmed with feelings of stress around your exams, you must try to talk to someone. Sharing this with someone else can help you feel better, and it means that you will have the support of that person over the next few weeks and months when it comes to exams. If you feel like you need some professional support
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