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Exam Anxiety? Top 5 Ways to Stay Calm and Confident

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Anxiety during exams is way more common among students than one can imagine. There is a lingering pressure on students to perform well and ace their exams, which can result in feeling stressed and inadequate. However, it is important to keep your calm in such a situation to maintain your mental health and perform optimally. We have discussed some strategies below that can help students to relax and stay confident and overcome their exam anxiety.

Prepare well

Thorough preparation is one of the most effective methods of fighting exam-related stress. Your confidence will naturally develop as you gain a firm understanding of the study material. Begin by making a study timetable that allows enough time for each subject or topic. Divide complicated topics into small chunks and concentrate on understanding the principles rather than recklessly memorising information.

Active learning activities, such as summarising, teaching others, or solving practice problems, can help reinforce your understanding and boost your confidence. Furthermore, practicing with past papers or sample questions will help you get more comfortable with the exam style.

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Sleep, eat right, and exercise 

Your physical health has a significant impact on your mental condition throughout exams. Maintain a consistent sleep pattern and strive for 7–9 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep revitalises your brain, improves cognitive performance, and promotes emotional stability, so you need to prioritise it no matter what.

Nutrition is equally important. Consume a well-balanced diet. Caffeine and sugary snacks should be avoided because they might cause energy collapses and anxiety. Maintain proper hydration for healthy brain function and mood management.

Exercising regularly can be an effective stress reducer. Endorphins are responsible for your mood, and when you exercise, these chemicals are released into your body and uplift your mood. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can help alleviate anxiety and improve mood. You may also try yoga in this regard. It can significantly aid in improving your exam anxiety and keeping you healthy. 

The best part is yoga is easy to do. There are many applications you can check out to help you learn yoga effectively, or you can simply watch beginner’s tutorials on YouTube. 

Practise time management 

Maintaining a calm and confident mood during the exam requires effective time management. Read the full exam paper to understand its structure and allocate adequate time to each section. Answer the questions you are most comfortable with first, as this will boost your confidence and save time for more difficult questions later.

Avoid focusing on a single question for an extended period. If you’re not sure about an answer, go on and come back to it later if you have adequate time for it. Remember that some questions may be worth more points than others, so answer the questions accordingly. 

Try stress reduction methods 

Students should follow stress reduction strategies to remain calm throughout tests. Regular mindfulness practice, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can assist you in managing stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness practice before and during tests can help you center yourself, allowing you to focus on the task rather than succumbing to negative thoughts. Techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and muscle relaxation help stimulate the body’s relaxation response, boosting confidence.

Keep a positive mindset 

Your mindset can have a big impact on your self-esteem. Being negative can contribute to higher anxiety and lower self-esteem. This is why positive affirmations should replace these negative beliefs to boost your mood and confidence. 

Another effective tool is visualisation. Spend a few minutes each day picturing yourself stepping into the exam room, confident, focused, and in command. Consider yourself answering questions with ease and remaining calm during the exam. This mental rehearsal can help you perform better in the real world.

Bottom line

It is possible to remain calm and confident during tests when you have done thorough preparation, and you are taking good care of your mental health. Implementing these tactics will not only improve your exam performance but will also benefit your entire well-being. You can manage exam problems calmly and confidently with a holistic approach to exam preparation and mindset.


Olivia Evans is passionate about writing and teaching. She has previously worked as an educator and taught high school students about fitness and mindfulness. She likes to write on various topics such as lifestyle, health, nutrition, travel, etc. Olivia also enjoys going out with her friends to museums and galleries.

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