We all know how scary it can be when we have an exam coming up and we feel unprepared, lack confidence in our abilities, or are just freaking out about the fact that we have to sit an exam in the first place.

I know the feeling, and I also know how much pressure we put on ourselves sometimes, so this week’s focus is on dealing with exam stress. You should be well clued up on how to study by now! If not, check out some of our recent articles for more help.

Here’s five things that you can do to help with exam stress:

1. Have confidence in yourself!

There’s no better way to remove some of the stress than believing that you can achieve whatever you want to. Once you start believing in yourself, you’ll find it easier and more productive to study because you know you’re getting better and moving towards your goal. If you find you’re doubting yourself, give yourself a little pep talk and be sure to say; “I can do this!”

2. Don’t compare yourself to others

We all have study plans that work for us personally, so make sure that you stick to yours and don’t get too distraught if someone has done four times as much as you. Remember that some study methods are far less effective than others, so that person doing more may have been wasting his or her time!

3. Eat well

Crucial to having enough energy in the exam season is eating well. Have lots of fresh food and drink lots of water so your brain can function well. Try having nuts instead of chips, and avoid the energy drinks!

4. Exercise regularly

Exercise releases dopamine into the brain, which makes you feel better. It’s great for clearing your head and letting you subconsciously think about problems you’ve been working on and information you’ve been learning.


Time management is crucial to not being stressed. If you’re doing all your study at the last minute, you’re bound to be stressing about whether you’ll get it all done in time. Make a concrete plan for each day of this last week of study before the exams, and stick to it.

My top advice for before the exam is simple: Go for a walk! It’s super scary having so many people waiting outside an exam room for 30 minutes talking to each other about what they might have forgotten, and realising someone else knows something that you’re not so good at. To get away from the stress, take a walk, clear your head, and focus on your goals.

That being said, you need goals to start with, if you want to achieve them! For the next two minutes, get a piece of paper and a pen, write down what you want to achieve in each subject (realistic, but not too easy!) and then work at achieving those goals this week.

Best of luck for the exams – I’m sure you’ll all do well!


Jack Goldingham Newsom is the founder of Thynke, and helps students exceed what they thought possible. If you’re looking for a great guide to help you achieve well in your exams this year, then check out the Thynke Guide to Studying!