How can I manage exam stress?
The run up to exams or assessment deadlines can be stressful but it is important not to let stress overwhelm you. Learning to manage stress and taking time to relax will help you study more effectively. Use the following tips and advice to help you manage your stress more effectively.
Tips and advice for managing exam stress
- Do some exercise (e.g. walk, swim, cycle)
- Read a book
- Watch your favourite TV show
- Go to the cinema
- Do something creative (e.g. draw, paint)
- Visit a friend or family member
- Listen to music
Challenging unhelpful thoughts
- Identify the patterns your thoughts take
- What would you say to a friend in a similar situation?
- What are the costs and benefits of thinking this way?
- Is there another way of looking at this?
- Focus on your breathing – start to notice your breath leaving and coming into your body
- Visualise being in a safe, pleasant and comfortable environment – how does it feel?
- Count things you can see that begin with a specific letter of the alphabet
- isten to your favourite music – identify the different sounds and instruments you can hear
- Count backwards from 1000 in multiples of 7
Resources and useful links
- Headspace – Useful app for meditation and breathing exercises. Has specific exercises for exam stress.
- Student Minds – Exam stress advice from the UK's student mental health charity
- Save the Student – Exam stress tips and advice
- Guidance for specific conditions – Mental health advice from NHS Scotland
- NHS Inform – Breathing and relaxation exercises
Togetherall is a 24/7 mental health support site which is available for free to all Heriot-Watt Students. It provides a safe space online to get things off your chest, explore your feelings and learn how to improve and self-manage your mental health and wellbeing. It's available 24/7, is totally anonymous and provides online peer support. Go to Togetherall (external site) and sign up with your university email address. You then choose an anonymous username for your time on Togetherall.
Student Wellbeing Services
The Student Wellbeing Service is also here to help you manage and cope with exam stress. For more information, you can email email@example.com.
Student Success Advisors
The Student Success Advisors are recent Heriot-Watt graduates and are experienced in sitting exams at the University. They can provide you with advice and guidance if you require it. You can contact the Advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Wellbeing Services - Scottish Borders Campus
Student Success Advisors - UK Campuses
Dubai Wellbeing Services
Student Success Advisors - Dubai Campus
Ming Fai Yap
- Job title
- Counselling and Support - Malaysia Campus