Top Tips on surviving and thriving during the Exam Period! Watch

University of Huddersfield
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This time of year can be a stressful period for students who may be struggling to cope with exam revision and assignment deadlines. Our Wellbeing Services team have put together some tops tips to get you through exam season.

Our Wellbeing advisers are available on Friday 18th May, 9am-12pm, to answer your questions on coping with exam stress. So if you’ve got any questions or even advice of your own to share, please let us know!

Claire, Julie and Rachel – Your University of Huddersfield Official Reps



1. What are the signs that I’m stressed?

There are many different signs that might indicate someone is stressed, and everyone will be different in how they experience stress. Some common indications that you are stressed might be a lack of concentration, low motivation, loss of appetite, changes in sleep patterns, critical or negative thoughts, irritability or anger, aches and pains, headaches and/or trouble relaxing.

Most of us will experience some degree of stress when it comes to the pressure of exams or deadlines. In many ways, a certain amount of stress can be a good thing, as it helps keep us focused and can motivate us to perform well. However, if we don’t balance our stress levels, and keep perspective, things can quickly start to feel overwhelming.



2. How to cope…before your exam or deadline

  • Be prepared and be realistic with your revision. Good preparation can help reduce stress, make you feel more confident of success and allow you to feel more in control. Try and be realistic when it comes to your revision schedule and work out how much you have to do, and time you have to do it in. Break this down in to manageable chunks and aim to do a few hours of work or revision each day, making sure that you are also having time away from your studies.
  • Change the way you revise. Just reading can get boring and our brains can struggle to focus, so in order to make it easier, use different revision methods. Draw pictures, read out loud in funny accents, sing the work, write bullet points down, get other people to quiz you or do past papers. Find what methods work for you and alternate when you are feeling tired.
  • Make time for breaks and make sure you have them. Nobody can stay focused for hours and hours, and trying to will only lead to exhaustion and a lack of concentration, and it might even make you more stressed. Take time out, away from your books to refresh and do something else for an hour or so. When you return to your studies, you will feel more focused and motivated to continue.
  • Reward yourself when you have finished your revision for the day. This could be by doing anything you enjoy, like taking a bath, going for a walk, meeting friends or watching a film.
  • Get physical. Exercise can significantly reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. It also helps boost your energy, clear your mind, helping you stay motivated and focused when you return to your study.
  • Sleep. Stress can really mess with our sleep pattern, especially if you find you are lying awake worrying about everything you have to do. Try and make time to relax before you go to bed and avoid stimulation from your phone or laptop.
  • Talk to others. When we are stressed, it’s common to withdraw and keep things bottled up. It can be really helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling, and talking through what is worrying you. Find someone you trust and who will be supportive, and open up. You can always come along and speak to a Wellbeing Advisor in confidence, and appointments are available each day.





3. How to cope…during exams

Remember that stress is helpful. During your exams it is inevitable that you will experience some degree of stress. This is completely normal, and some stress can be really helpful. However here are some tips you can use to keep the balance right between useful stress and unhelpful stress.

  • Eat breakfast and lunch and remember not to drink too much caffeine. You can’t ignore your body if you want your brain to work at its best. Stuffing it full of sugar, or some Red-Bull type drink just before will work fine for the first half hour or so, but by the end of a three-hour exam you’ll have completely run out of energy. You need some food that will slowly release energy. Try yoghurt, fish or eggs.
  • Drink water. Ok so you need to get the balance right so you’re not needing to leave in the middle of the exam but even mild dehydration can lead to tiredness, headaches, reduced alertness and diminished concentration.
  • Try and do something relaxing for the last hour before your exam, last minute cramming may not be helpful and could impair your ability to remember what you already know.
  • Make sure you know where your exams are, that you know exactly how to get there and how long the journey takes.
  • Make sure you know the exact time of your exam and have given yourself plenty of time to get up, get ready, get there and take a breather.
  • Pack your bag the night before. Write a list of everything you need, pack it and then do a quick double check in the morning that you have everything.
  • If there are people panicking outside the exam – avoid them. If you have friends that you know will be panicking, tell them in advance that you’ll need to make your own way to the exam.
  • When you are sitting in your exam, start by sitting up straight with your shoulders back and take some deep breaths and exhale slowly. Posture helps to make your body feel more centred and confident, even if you aren’t.




4. How to cope…after the exam

So this is the time when the stress might lessen but then you might start with critical thinking. Negative thoughts never make us feel better so here are some tips to try and lessen them.



  • Once you have finished your exam try to forget about it. Going over answers in your head or comparing answers with your friends isn’t helpful and will only add to your stress. Remember that exams are designed to test what we can do under pressure. After the exam – when the pressure is gone – you will more than likely remember something you forgot. Be kind to yourself and remember you did the best you could in the exam situation.
  • Keep things in perspective. If you feel you have messed up your exam, there isn’t anything you can do until you get the results and worrying about it won’t help, it will only serve to add more stress to any further exams you have and ultimately make you miserable. Ask yourself what you would say to a good friend if they were in your situation. We’re often really kind to others but struggle with ourselves. Try to say whatever you would to your friend to yourself.
  • Do something enjoyable and treat yourself. You have worked hard and deserve a pat on the back for getting through the exam.




For students at the University of Huddersfield: Wellbeing Services hold an information stand throughout the exam period (outside the SU Shop in Student Central), where you can drop in at any time for help. You can also find out more about Wellbeing Services and the help and support that is available by visiting our website.
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04MR17
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What a wonderful thread!:heart:

The theme for this year's Mental Health awareness week is stress. TSR has put some threads together to continue to help raise awareness of Mental Health, you can find them here.


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I have a question: How prominent do you see stress in the students you're speaking to as welfare advisers?
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(Original post by 04MR17)
What a wonderful thread!:heart:

The theme for this year's Mental Health awareness week is stress. TSR has put some threads together to continue to help raise awareness of Mental Health, you can find them here.


-------------------------------------------------------------

I have a question: How prominent do you see stress in the students you're speaking to as welfare advisers?
Thank you 04MR17


Stress and anxiety are probably the most prominent reasons students access our Wellbeing service. The causes of stress that we see will vary from individual to individual, however we certainly see an increase in stress and anxiety during the 3rd term with exam and deadline pressures.
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Hi,

Do you have any coping strategies for getting through the exam season? We’d love to hear your tips.

Lynsey & Kelly
UoH, Mental Health & Wellbeing Advisors
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