This is a guest post written by Veronica Hunt. Veronica is an edtech expert and an experienced blogger from Delaware City, DE. As a blogger, Veronica sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of education, self-improvement and psychology. Apart from work, she adores travelling and yoga

9 Ways to Overcome Your Cambridge Exam Nerves

Do you push the panic button as the date of your exams approaches? Is the lack of self-control causing you to underperform? You might be studying your lecture notes and browsing through essay databases, but just a couple of tricky questions can get you stuck. You’re not alone in this! Every student who wants to achieve success in studies will experience exam stress from time to time. It’s an integral part of student life that can be hard to overcome.

Keep in mind that stress exists for a reason, and only you can let it lead to failure or transform it into a driving force. To beat stress before the exam, you need to find out the reasons why you're so worried. Then you can easily identify techniques to reduce the pressure you feel. Here are the most common causes of exam stress:

  • Lack of proper preparation;

  • Planning issues;

  • Low level of motivation;

  • Stressing over competition;

  • High expectations from others.

The difference between a person who allows panic to take over and someone who uses stress to move forward is what they do when facing that brick wall. A high achiever will pause, breathe deeply and choose a path that helps to overcome the deadlock.

If you’re one of those students who feels stressed when it comes to passing exams then here are a few helpful tips for you to concentrate on achieving the highest grades. Put all negativity aside and focus on your academic goals!

Take care of your health

Generally, it’s too difficult to both store so many information in your brain and try to get on with your life. As a result, you’re too overloaded trying to kill two birds with one stone. This can give rise to serious health problems. Looking after your physical and mental health means that you have to mix studying with exercising the body and relaxation. Regular eating and drinking are also crucial for your wellness. Opt for food that fights the stress hormone cortisol like spinach, citrus fruits, and dark chocolate.

Get enough sleep

For most of students, sound sleep is something that’s always put off to get other things done first. In fact, nothing will make up for a proper night’s sleep. It helps your brain to absorb necessary knowledge into long-term memory so that you can recall it on the exam day.

Go for a short walk

Some students falsely assume they should spend all their time before exams cramming. Nevertheless, research has shown that taking a walk can boost a brain power and improve your memory. No doubt, a quick walk could elevate your exam performance!

Make a plan

Creating a personal study plan is a must in case you want to make the learning process more efficient. There are a lot of educational materials to study for exams, so create a plan on what you need to learn and when. With special calendar tools, you can become more productive by understanding your day-to-day progress. Try to make a weekly goal, and then break it down into daily targets so that your work is divided into more manageable tasks.

Listen to relaxing music

Listening to classical or ambient music is recommended as a great way of boosting a brain power. It elevates your mood and creates a positive environment, which encourages studying more effectively. Check out the playlists on Spotify to find out what works better for you.

Let it out

If you’re feeling stressed or just tired, real-life communication is the right move. Sometimes to gather your thoughts before exams you just need to get support. Talk to your classmates and you’ll find out that they feel the same. Also, don’t be afraid to send an email to your tutor and ask for professional advice concerning anything you don’t understand. Spending time with a family member or a good friend can cheer you up and help you rise above the stress.

Make learning fun

If you have a friend to study with, then try to test each other on what you've learned so far. Doing this is almost a guaranteed way to add more fun to your studying. Besides, it’s extremely beneficial to those who suffer from procrastination. Everything seems much easier when you find a ‘study buddy’, someone who is an expert in a subject that is too challenging for you. Together you can help each other understand difficult concepts and keep your productivity levels high.

Don’t be distracted

Stay focused on learning by reducing distractions. It can be easy to fall into the trap of procrastination, especially if you have a lot of tasks to do. Perhaps you just don't realize how much time you’re wasting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Be tough on yourself! Limit the time you spend on social media and keep the end goal in mind to ease the process. In such case, different website blockers may come in handy.

Get a positive mindset

Being in a flap about exams won’t help you perform any better. At the same time, staying positive is a useful way to combating stressful thoughts. If you’ve made every effort to prepare for the test, try not to let anxiety dominate your feelings. Keep calm. Everything will be alright!

Exams are a crucial part of academic life. But even if you don’t get the results you expect, don’t fall into despair as true knowledge is more important than temporary grades.

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Have any more helpful tips on how to beat an exam stress? Share them in comments below.