Exam season is on its way and the Easter holidays mark the start of serious revision time. Whether you’re studying for A-Levels, IB, GCSEs, or uni finals, it can be a stressful time. But don’t let stress get the better of you! John Taggart, Head of Counselling at St George’s, University of London has put together a list of stress-busting tips.

17 315 St Georges 051 Cropped

calendar-icon 12 April 2018

Stress can sometimes motivate people, but when dealing with tasks such as revision and exams, it can become overbearing.

1. Organise your revision space

It is dispiriting returning to a work area that is messy and poorly organised. If you have your own work area, be sure to make it your own. Organise it in a way that suits you.

2. Set a revision timetable

You may not keep to it entirely, but having a structure gives you a greater sense of control. Be sure to schedule in some leisure activities as part of your work timetable, to help you refresh and have better focus.

3. Plan your day

Try to plan your day the night before, making sure to schedule in short breaks between each revision session. Test yourself after each revision session by setting questions you would ask on a given topic. Give imaginary lectures on what you have revised as a way to go over what you have studied.

4. Plan to meet deadlines early

Get ahead of the game and aim to meet your deadlines at least 48 hours before you need to. This will help you feel more successful and reduce anxiety about falling behind.

5. Study when your brain is most alert

Are you a morning person? If so, aim to do the bulk of your revision in the morning when you are more alert and thinking at your best.

6. Think positive

Exam and revision stress can leave you feeling doubtful and hopeless. Make a conscious effort to choose positive thoughts over negative ones. Revision can sometimes feel endless, so try setting yourself small, achievable targets. Take pride in each target you reach.

7. Talk to someone

If you are feeling stressed or worried, share your feelings with the people that you trust. Talking about your burdens often reduces them – and these people will want to help.

Most schools, colleges and universities also have a student counselling service. This is a place where you can take your worries and problems in complete confidence. At St George’s, the Counselling Service is free, entirely confidential and open to all St George’s students.

8. Remember your best has to be good enough

Try your hardest but avoid believing you have more work than you actually do. Dedicating more time than is needed on work can sometimes be counterproductive. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try writing down your worries and anxieties before going to sleep. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try working to shorter targets. You may be panicking because you are concentrating on what you still have to achieve, rather than on what you have already achieved.