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How to cope with exam anxiety

Exam anxiety, also known as test anxiety, is a psychological condition in which a person experiences high levels of stress and anxiety before, during, or after an exam or other evaluation. Exam anxiety can be caused by a number of factors, such as fear of failure, pressure to perform well, or lack of preparation.

Symptoms of exam anxiety can vary, but they may include:

  • Feeling nervous, anxious, or fearful before or during an exam

  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, or feeling lightheaded

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering information

  • Negative self-talk, such as feeling like you will fail or are not good enough

  • Avoidance behaviours, such as procrastination or skipping class

Exam anxiety can have a negative impact on academic performance and can lead to lower test scores, reduced motivation, and decreased self-esteem. However, there are several strategies that can be used to manage exam anxiety, such as preparing well in advance, practising relaxation techniques, and positive self-talk.

Here are some suggestions:


One of the best ways to reduce exam anxiety is to prepare well in advance. This means studying regularly and breaking down the material into manageable chunks. Start studying weeks or even months before the exam to avoid cramming.

Time management

Use a planner or calendar to schedule study time, breaks, and leisure activities. Prioritising tasks can help you feel more in control and reduce stress.

Relaxation techniques

Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and visualisation are all effective techniques that can help reduce anxiety. Practise these techniques regularly to develop a sense of calmness and relaxation.

Positive self-talk

Replace negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Instead of saying "I can't do this," say "I am prepared and capable of succeeding." Repeat these affirmations regularly to reinforce positive thoughts.

Exercise and nutrition

Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein can help you feel more energised and focused.

Seek support

Talk to friends, family members, or a mental health professional about your anxiety. They can provide emotional support and practical advice on managing anxiety.

Remember, everyone experiences some level of exam anxiety, but it's important not to let it control you. By implementing these strategies, you can reduce anxiety and increase your chances of success on the exam. However, if you or someone you know needs extra help with exam anxiety, contact Prepped on 01284 658777 or email and we will provide additional support.


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