Don’t Get Stressed-Out as the Annual Summer Exam Time Approaches

Anna uses coloured highlighters to aid her revision techniques.

It’s nearly that time again – school summer exam time, and as the barometer starts to rise (often under sunny skies), so too do the stress levels of school children and students as they approach the dreaded fixture on the school calendar, often with fear and trepidation.

But it needed be a time of terror and tears – by simply planning ahead, setting priorities and staying calm, and realising that everyone is more than just their exam results.

One Belfast girl facing her A-levels this year, Anna Kelly, agrees that planning is key to keeping her stress levels at a minimum. Here she shares her tips…

Personally, I have to keep my stress levels minimal or else I can’t absorb the information I’m revising, and if I’m stressed going into the exam I can’t focus. I’ve had my revision notes finished 3 weeks ago and now have plenty of time to read over my notes at least three times before my papers and also have time to do past paper questions.

If I wasn’t this prepared my mental health would definitely be deteriorating. However, my friends are having 3-4 breakdowns every week over realising time is too limited to do a yea’rs worth of revision notes and learning in three weeks, while having the added pressure of needing to meet the conditional graded offers from our universities of choice. This is the stress I have successfully alleviated through my GCSEs and A level through working all through the year at revision and not just in study leave.

When it comes to writing notes I listen to any music that will keep my motivated, eg favourite singer, but when it comes to absorbing the information and learning it, I listen to mediation music and find it prevents me from getting distracted and I leave my phone outside the room.

I think exercise is extremely necessary after a few hours of revision as it allows the brain to relax, but then creates opportunity for the brain to be ready to work again, aiding retention of information while studying.

I also search videos on YouTube of each topic in biology and sociology and find the podcasts and animations extremely useful for visually storing the information as I am a visual learner and owe passing my maths GCSE to a website called Maths Watch!


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