It is that time of the year again – final exams!

So we are all back from a very short September holiday and already we are looking forward to end of the year.  Finishing another year of school, Christmas presents, long sunny days on the beach and some of us are entering the “adulthood”!

But before we get to do all the nice things, we first have to pass our final exams.  The whole year has been a buildup towards these exams.  Now you start thinking – have I done enough during the year?  What if I can’t remember everything?  Maybe I should have signed up for extra class? Perhaps I should have listened better in class?

Oh no – what am I going to do?  How am I going to cope with the last stressful stretch of this year?

First of all – it is now or never – give it your ALL en just do your best.  You will reap the success of all the effort you put in during the past year.  Remember – you are not alone.  Almost every student experiences the stress of the exams.  It is however your choice / decision whether you are going to allow the stress to get to you and hamper your success during the exams, or are you going to take control and overcome the stress?

Here are a few tips on how to combat exam stress:

1. Listen to Classical Music

Listening to music can create a positive and productive environment by elevating your mood and encouraging you to study more effectively and for longer. Classical music is recommended as the best type of music to boost your brain power but ambient music can work too.

2. Take a Quick Walk

Many students feel as if they should spend their entire time before exams with their books open and their pens ready for action. However, research has shown that exercising, such as taking a walk, can boost your memory and brain power.

The image below shows the results of a study conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois. It clearly demonstrates the effect exercise can have on your brain’s activity. Imagine how this could improve your exam performance!

3. Plan your Study Routine

This may not be a big surprise but what is shocking is the amount of students who discount the benefits of creating a personal study plan. With some initial effort, you can become more productive and motivated each day you approach your study by understanding your learning progress. If you’re using our learning platform, the GoConqr calendar tool will help you align your goals with your day-to-day study, get started here.

4. Play with Bubble Wrap & Puppies

Where do puppies come into exam stress? Lots of universities have installed ‘puppy rooms’ where students can come to relieve stress and anxiety. Pets have also been found to help you focus while studying but we wouldn’t recommend dropping into the library with your pet hamster! Popping bubble wrap is another stress reliever you can save for home study.

5. Try to Get Enough Sleep

For some people, this is something that’s always put on the long finger especially if you are trying to get the most out of college life. The benefits of a proper night’s sleep can never be underestimated. Most importantly, sleep helps your brain to assimilate new knowledge into your long-term memory so that you can recall it when it comes to test day. Anyone who has tried to concentrate with half a night’s sleep can also testify to improved focus with better sleep.

6. Use Mobile Apps

There are tons of mobile apps designed to improve your quality of life. Whether you want to get better organized, improve your mental arithmetic or work on your English language skills, there’s an app for that. We’ve even launched our own mobile apps for iOS and Android so you can make the most of your time no matter where you are. Downloading the app will give you access to over 2 million learning resources from around the world. Get your apps here:

7. Give Your Mind Space

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to take a break and see your stress from a different perspective. Practicing meditation is another way to maintain focus while improving both mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress.

8. Eating Dark Chocolate

Believe it or not this is 100% true. Eating dark chocolate which is over 70% cocoa fights the exam stress hormone cortisol and has an overall relaxing effect on the body. Plus chocolate releases endorphins which act as a natural stress fighter.

9. Let it All Out

Sometimes you just need to talk to someone, other times you need to shout it from the rooftop or scream from the top of your lungs. Figure out what you’re feeling and then let it out. Speaking to a family member or friend can highlight the bigger picture for you and empower you to rise above the exam stress.

10. Break Free from Distractions

I bet you don’t even realize the number of times you check Facebook, Instagram or whatever your thing is? When you add it all up, it amounts to a significant waste of time. It can be hard to detach from your life outside of studying but keeping the end goal and timeframe in mind will ease the process.