9 strategies to help combat exam burnout

No matter who you are, or what subjects you’re taking, exams can be stressful.

Unfortunately we can’t sit your exams for you, but we can keep reminding you of a few simple things that could help you get through the exam period a little bit more easily.

1. Avoid cramming

Staying up all night before an exam going over and over the same material could do you more harm than good, you could also struggle to focus in the exam if you’re exhausted.

Sure read through your notes, go through a few of the past papers to get a feel for the kinds of questions you might get. But at a reasonable hour, step back from your revision and take some time to wind down.


2. Take regular breaks

Even if you only take a break every 90 minutes, studies have shown that your attention and focus could be enhanced. So be kind to your bodies and get a drink, or a snack, go outside – do anything at all that gets you away from your books. (Try not to get too distracted you forget to go back to the books though).


3. Sleep

Of course, you predicted that one didn’t you? But it’s true, getting a good quality night’s sleep before your exams really will help you cope better both in the short and long term.


4. Change things up

Studying in different places and switching up your subjects could stop you getting bored and feeling like cabin fever is setting in, and help you concentrate more easily.

So maybe try studying different spots around the house, going outside, or taking a walk to the library.


5. Study with friends

Only try this one if you’re able to exercise some self-control and actually knuckle down to some study.

The benefits could include:

  • Motivating one another
  • Improving your understanding
  • quizzing each other
  • pointing out gaps in each other’s knowledge
  • or making things a little competitive.

Plus, maybe it won’t feel so much like work when you’re hanging out with your mates.


6. Exam prep

Set your alarm, double check the location you’ll be sitting the exam in, as well as what you’ll need and are allowed to take in with you. That means there’s less for you to stress out about in the morning.


7. Exam day

Even if your stomach is churning, make sure you eat something and have a big drink – you’ll need the energy, your brain will be working hard. And you don’t want to be distracted by hunger pangs mid-exam.

If your exam’s not until later in the day, go over your notes in the morning and then take some time out to relax (have a shower or do some exercise maybe) before your exam.


8. During exams

Yep you’ve surely heard all this before too, but try and remember not to rush, read the question through a couple of times before you answer it.

Keep an eye on the time and if one question is stumping you – move on and come back to it later.

Try to leave a bit of time at the end of the exam, check your answers and answer any questions that you might have skipped.


9. After an exam

Hanging around listening to everyone talk about the exam could stress you out, if you gave different answers or found the exam to be easier (or harder) than them – so don’t. Head off and some well earned time chill out before you prepare for the next exam.

Remember the exam period is a marathon not a sprint, so you do have time for a bit of rest and relaxation.

Hopefully, by implementing some of these ideas into your exam schedule could help you perform your best and leave you not feeling too drained once your exams are over.


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