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Self-help resources

The purpose of this section of the website is to provide thought-provoking material and useful links to help students and staff to:

  • improve self-understanding
  • aid personal development
  • provide an accurate perspective about behaviours and states of mind that feel problematic.

(More pages and information will be added from time to time.)

Please note:
This material is presented for orientation, and cannot be considered a substitute for professional assistance.

Coping with Exam Stress


Working towards exams can make us feel under a lot of pressure, especially at uni, working towards a degree. There may be no choice about taking exams but there are definitely things we can do to reduce the stress that can come with them:-

Get things in perspective…….Exams may seem like the most important thing right now, but in the grand scheme of things in your life, they’re only a small part.  They don’t define you as a person. Whatever happens you can still be successful in life.

Get organised……..Ensure you know where and when exams will be held, marking criteria, what materials can and cannot be brought into the exam room. Picture your exams as a time bound project. Break down revision into “chunks” and form a plan. Book in free time and protect this time. Don’t panic if you go off schedule, you can start again tomorrow.

Bad habits to avoid……Don’t set unachievable goals, nobody can revise 10 topics in a day. Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol, drugs all negatively impact on your concentration and wellbeing in the long term.

Good habits to get into…….Take regular breaks. Find out when and where you work best.  Keep active. Eat well and drink plenty of water. Get into a regular sleeping pattern. Try and go to bed and get up at a regular time and get a decent amount of sleep.


Tips for the exam itself:-

Don’t panic. Some nerves are normal but panic is counterproductive and you won’t be able to think clearly. If you do feel panicky take some slow deep breaths. If your mind goes blank focus on your breathing. If you still can’t remember the information, move onto the next question and return to this one later.

Take a small bottle of water into the exam if you are allowed.

Remember the invigilator is there to help you.

Read the questions/instructions carefully, then re-read to ensure you are confident of what is expected of you.

Prioritise what needs to be done…Pace yourself. Give yourself time to proof read.

After the exam:-

Standing around and joining in with the exam post mortem can often be discouraging. Don’t spend time worrying and criticising yourself for what you think you went wrong. Congratulate yourself for what you know you did right.

Reward yourself for your hard work. Do something you enjoy. Let the stress of that exam go, especially if you have more exams coming up in the next few days/weeks.

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