SBUSixth Tips for Managing Exam Stress


Exam season is upon us, and it can often feel like a whirlwind of deadlines, revision, and mounting pressure. But fear not! With a few handy tips and strategies, you can manage stress and stay on top of your game. Let’s dive in.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic, achievable goals is key. Start by breaking down your revision into small, manageable chunks. Instead of thinking, ‘I need to study everything!’, focus on one topic at a time. This approach helps prevent feeling overwhelmed and allows you to track your progress more effectively. Use tools like to-do lists or study planners to keep everything organised. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

Stay Active

Physical activity is a fantastic way to bust stress. It doesn’t have to be a full workout at the gym – even a brisk walk around the block or a quick dance session in your room can do wonders. Exercise releases endorphins, those lovely chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy and relaxed. Try to incorporate some form of physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

Healthy Eating and Hydration

Your brain needs the right fuel to function at its best. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide the energy and nutrients you need. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugary snacks; while they might give you a quick energy boost, they can lead to crashes that leave you feeling even more tired. Staying hydrated is just as important. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day – your brain will thank you!

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is your best friend during exam season. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to help with memory retention and overall cognitive function. Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This might include reading a book, listening to calm music, or doing some light stretching. Avoid screens at least an hour before bed, as the blue light can interfere with your sleep cycle.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can be incredibly beneficial. Try to incorporate these practices into your daily routine. Start with deep breathing exercises: inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and then slowly release each muscle group, can also help reduce physical tension.

Take Regular Breaks

It’s important to take regular breaks while studying to avoid burnout. The Pomodoro Technique is a great method: study for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After four cycles, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. Use your breaks to do something you enjoy, like listening to music, going for a walk, or chatting with a friend. These short breaks help refresh your mind and improve focus.

Stay Connected

Don’t isolate yourself during exam season. Stay connected with friends and family who can offer support and encouragement. Sometimes, just talking to someone about what you’re going through can help alleviate stress. Share your worries and seek advice. Remember, you’re not alone in this – many of your peers are likely feeling the same way.

Seek Help if Needed

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek help. Talk to a teacher, counsellor, or mental health professional. Recognising when you need support is a sign of strength, not weakness. At SBUSixth, we offer a variety of support services to help you navigate through exam stress. Whether it’s academic support or mental health resources, there’s help available.


Exams can be stressful, but with the right strategies, you can manage that stress and perform your best. Take care of your mind and body, and remember to reach out for support when you need it. By setting realistic goals, staying active, eating healthily, getting enough sleep, practising relaxation techniques, taking regular breaks, staying connected, and seeking help when needed, you’ll be well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way this exam season. Good luck!

For more tips and support, visit our Wellbeing and Support page. You’ve got this!

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