Tackling Exam Stress: Why It Matters And How To Do It
Recent studies have revealed that 20% of students are stressed or anxious. The theories behind the causes of this are debatable, but the prevalence of social media is generally considered a contributing factor. Addiction to smartphones and technology, meanwhile, often get in the way of sleep, which can have significant implications for a person’s emotional health. When it comes to exams, it can be helpful to adopt some of the techniques for managing stress outlined previously. It is more important than ever that students feel able to open up to others about their stress, and that they can learn ways in which to use their time effectively when preparing for exams.
You are what you eat
When it comes to studying and dealing with pressure, good nutrition is key. Rather than reaching out for caffeinated ‘quick fixes’ (which will in fact only make your brain feel fried after an initial rush of energy), make sure you focus on healthy food and drink. Research indicates that the Mediterranean diet is ideal for improving memory, as it is high in wholesome grains, fish, fruit, and vegetables. These foods all encourage healthy blood flow and cognitive function, which in turn keep stress levels low. Alongside this, try memory-boosting supplements, which might also help you maintain the energy and focus required for effective study. It is worth researching the best brain pill on the market. Keeping your body healthy will help keep your emotions healthy too.
Make enough time for sleep
Young adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, yet only a third of American students get that. This has huge implications on one’s mental health. Sleep deprivation results in the suppression of activity in the amygdala, which is responsible for regulating our emotions. The main culprit for this lack of sleep in students is smartphones. Research revealed that 71% of young adults take their phone to bed. This exposure to blue light acts as a stimulant and prevents people from falling asleep, resulting in a foggy head and low mood in the morning.
Study in a group
Research has shown that studying in groups boosts exam scores, in comparison to studying alone. The reasons for this are that shared knowledge can clarify uncertainties and help students gain confidence. With no teacher or ‘superior’ figure present, meanwhile, it can also help less confident students feel more able to ask questions more openly among their peers, who are most likely to be able to relate to any anxiety or stress felt. This in itself can be reassuring for students, helping to reduce anxiety and improve performance.
Anxiety is a very real concern that affects a considerable number of students. In order to give students the best chance of alleviating this anxiety and doing themselves justice in exams, certain steps should be encouraged. Limiting the use of smartphones and technology makes for an environment that is less stressful and more conducive to learning. Studying with peers, meanwhile, can be helpful in gaining confidence in particular topics. Finally, sleep must be a priority; it really makes the world of difference when it comes to your state of mind and ability to study well.