I want some help managing stress, anxiety or nervousness about exams.

The first way to reduce any stress, anxiety or nervousness about exams is to be prepared.

  • Find out as early as possible what topics will be included in the exam.
  • Also find out as early as possible what the type and conditions of the exam are (e.g. How long? Where? Open book? Essay questions, short answers or multiple choice?)
  • Make a plan for revision of the important topics, early in the semester.
  • Look at some exam papers from previous years and practise writing answers. You can look for past exam papers in the library (see the link on the right). You can also ask your lecturer and the office of your faculty, school and/or department.

There are also a number of strategies you can use to boost your confidence and calm.

  • Discuss the exam with other students beforehand, including any worries, but also the topics that you feel confident about.
  • Lower the stress hormones in your body through physical exercise.
  • Familiarise yourself with the environment of the exam.
  • Remind yourself of the positive points: e.g. You have successfully completed other exams before, and you have prepared for this, so this exam will probably be OK too.
  • On the day of the exam, wear something you feel good in, and take along helpful things, such as a water bottle and your favourite pen.

The Learning Centre has workshops to help you prepare for exams (see links on the right).

You can also find out about advanced techniques and extra support offered by the counselling service and the disability support office. These could include workshops, consultations and special arrangements such as a separate room or extra time to sit the exam (see links on the right).

For more on this topic, see the links on the right...