Stay Stress Free This Exam Season


Nik’s Monthly Mental Health Blog:  Guide to Stress Free Exam Revision

Hello, and good luck to all the Study Links students studying for exams in the UK and around the world!  Firstly, let me congratulate you all on making it this far – the past two years has been a tough time on everyone; but especially students.

As someone who has studied abroad, a teacher and a psychology graduate; I’m really happy to be working with Study Links to promote good mental health and well being to all of our students both at home and abroad.  I hope that some of the tips in this blog will be valuable to you.


Exam Stress is Real – You Are Not Alone!

It is totally normal to feel anxious or stressed when facing exams.  Sometimes exam pressure can have a big impact on us all; affecting eating and sleeping habits, and even causing us to feel overwhelmed or depressed.  If you recognize any of this happening to you, please remember you are not alone and there are things you can do to feel better.


Talk to Someone

One of the best ways to maintain good mental health is to talk about any problems or issues that you are facing.

  • Take a break from revision to have a chat with a friend. As well as being a great way to unwind, you could be a huge help to someone else who is going through a tough time with exams.
  • Ask to meet with a school guidance teacher or talk with another teacher about your exams. Tell them about any concerns you might have and any practical help you think your school could offer you.
  • Of course, you can also message or phone the Study Links Student Support Team. Many of our team have either studied abroad or worked as teachers.  We are always here to listen.


Mindfulness Techniques

Feeling anxious and stressed about exams can be linked thoughts about what will happen if things don’t go according to plan.  However, many of these ‘worst case scenarios’ are not realistic and suck energy away from being focussed and productive during revision.

Practising the mindfulness techniques below can help us to manage this unwanted negative type of thinking, allowing us to stay in and enjoy the present moment.

  • During a break enjoy a tea, coffee or hot chocolate mindfully. Listen to how the kettle sounds when it’s boiling, or the sound of the water pouring into the cup.  Pay attention to the warmth of the cup in your hand and the first taste of the drink.
  • If you start feeling stressed while you are revising focus for a moment on your breath. Take around 10 deep breaths and feel the air travel from your nose all the way down to the bottom of your lungs.  Notice how it feels as your chest rises during a breath in and as you breathe out.  Pay attention to how you feel before and after mindful breathing.
  • If your mind wanders to thoughts about your exams during practising these techniques don’t criticize yourself but bring your attention back gently to what you were doing.


Be Kind to Yourself

If you find yourself getting stressed about revision, exams and grades, here are a few things you can do to remind yourself about how great you are!

  • Sometimes stress can make us feel down about ourselves. Try writing a list on a sheet of paper about all of your achievements, things you like about yourself and other people value about you.  Put your list up in your revision space to remind yourself that while exams are important, they don’t define you as a person.
  • Constantly revising can lead to feeling physical and emotionally drained. Doing something you enjoy like a hobby, activity or simply getting a good rest each day will help your brain digest what you have been studying.
  • Being kind to your body will have a great impact on making your mind feel great. Going for breaks in the gym, out for a run, or playing sports with your friends will release chemicals in your brain that help you feel happy and relaxed throughout the day.  If you feel you don’t have time to do the above try stretching or taking a walk in nature to allow your body to de-stress and mind to rest.


Separate Where You Revise and Rest

If you revise and rest in the same place, you will find it difficult to get away from thinking about your exams and have proper rest and relaxation.  Try the following to ensure you are on top of your game during revision and making the most out of your breaks,

  • Try revising in a set space such as your library, or the living room and not your bedroom. If you need a break, move to a café or go for a walk nearby to properly recharge.
  • If you are in boarding accommodation and you have to revise in your room, work at your desk and not your bed – putting your materials away once you have finished.


As well as looking after your mental health, applying the correct revision techniques can help you focus and succeed during exam season.  For more tips on how to study for and succeed in exams read our revision guide here.


You can talk with the Study Links team, your friends, parents and teachers if you ever feel stressed, sad or overwhelmed.  Good luck with your revision – remember, you’ve got this!