Keep Calm and Grade on: Dealing with Exam Nerves so You Can Succeed ...

Do you need some tips for dealing with exam nerves? Everybody gets anxious when facing exams or tests. A little nerviness can improve your performance, and drive you to do well. The problem is that you can become too nervous to perform properly. So if you're about to be tested, try these tips for dealing with exam nerves …

1. Don't Try to Remember Too Much

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The first of my tips for dealing with exam nerves is that you shouldn't overdo the revision. If you try to cram too many facts into your head you won't be able to remember much of it. Focus on key points instead. You can't possibly remember everything on the syllabus, so don't put pressure on yourself by fretting that something might come up that you haven't revised.

2. Start Revising Early

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Start your revision early rather than leaving it to the last minute. Last-minute panics are not productive; you end up forgetting what you already knew and not learning anything else. It can help to draw up a revision plan, so that you can cover the things you need to know and pace your revision over a period of time.

3. Remedies

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If you suffer from nerves a lot, it can be worth trying one of the natural remedies on the market. Rescue Remedy is considered by many people to be helpful. It's easy to carry a bottle and put a few drops on your tongue wherever you are. You could also try learning some breathing techniques and listening to relaxation tapes or positive affirmations - search for 'Exams relaxation' on YouTube and you'll find lots of music and videos to help you.

4. Break It down

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It probably seems that you have so much to revise that you'll never remember any of it. This is where planning comes in. Breaking your revision into chunks will make it seem less daunting. It's easier to memorise small amounts, and once you've committed one piece to memory you can move on to another. This will be much less stressful.

5. Take the Pressure off

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I've found that taking the pressure off myself works and allows me to deal with exams much more calmly. Take my driving test for example - after failing 3 times I nearly canceled the fourth test. But I reasoned with myself that if I took the test, I might pass, but if I didn't take the test, I definitely wouldn't pass. And I passed! So don't panic that you'll fail - it's not guaranteed!

6. Looking after Yourself

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In the run up to exams, be sure to look after yourself. Get enough sleep and program breaks into your study schedule. Also eat well and drink enough fluid; you won't be able to work effectively if you're living on coffee and junk food.

7. Practise

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Finally, a trial run can really help calm your nerves for a practical or oral exam. Find a study partner and practise testing each other, or ask your teacher if they can give you a mock exam. Then the real exam won't seem as daunting.

Very few people can approach exams with complete calm, so you're not alone in feeling nervous. But by following these tips you should be able to alleviate some of your anxiety. Have you ever done much better in an exam than you thought you would?

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