How to Relax Before an Exam? How to Calm Down Before an Exam?

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)
Last updated date : January 06, 2023

Tests and Exams usually involve some level of nervousness. Stress and worry about your future have a link with academic tests. While some people giving exams may be extremely worried to handle the situation. This can poorly affect their performance in exams or test. So all that much worry can affect your focus, memory, thinking, and other disturbances during the test, as well as negative thoughts. Hence let us have a look at some of the ways to help you relax before an exam. These tips will help you calm down before an exam.

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Chapter 1:

Why Is It Important to Relax Before an Exam?

It is important to relax before an exam because when you calm down before an exam, it will help you to manage your study time, remember your lessons, and feel more positive about the situation. Hence we have included some of our best tips to calm down before an exam.

Chapter 2:

Tips to Relax Before an Exam

Here are some ways to help you relax before an exam. So let’s take a deep calming breath and go right in.
1. Start to prepare for your exams well before time.
Keep a track of your syllabus and academic work before time. And start to prep for your exam before time to avoid the last-minute rush.

Hint: You can set a timetable and time to prep at a certain time of the day that is more productive for you. E.g. early in the morning or late at night when it is quiet and calm.

2. Think positive!
It’s just a test, after all. You may think that what if you fail. But think positive. It is the key. The test scores do not represent who you are as a person. Learning and exams might cause considerable stress and worry if you put too much of your self-worth into them. Worry can make you think negatively of yourself so avoid it. Instead, you can think about all of the opportunities and the experiences you are gaining in your life.

Hint: Practice positive self-talk e.g. “I am capable”.

3. Get proper sleep before the exam.
It is important to relax before an exam. To do so, get a proper 8 hours of sleep before the night of the exam and don’t spend your time studying all night. Staying away all night before an exam can also increase nervousness and headache. Getting your sleep will help you to focus your energy and mind on your exam to perform better.

Hint: Wind up a day before the exam. Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. Wake up early and revise before time.

4. Don’t skip your meal.
When people worry, some people may overeat, while others don’t eat at all. Eating healthy food will help you to relax physically and mentally before an exam while also making you active and focused during the exam.

Studies suggest that eating too much sugar or caffeine can increase your anxiety.

Hint: You can eat snacks in between your study breaks to keep your energy high such as having some juice or nuts handy.

5. Be aware of the exam’s date, time, and location.
Allow adequate time to reach the location of your exam. You don’t need the added anxiety of wondering if you’ll arrive on time. Keep in mind everything you’ll need and prepare it ahead of time.

Hint: Put your Exam timetable and place it on a sticky note and attach it somewhere you’ll see it all the time as a reminder, such as a fridge. Or, set a phone reminder.

6. Stop studying an hour before the exam.
Don’t put yourself into a situation where you panic at the last minute. It will make you anxious and have a poor effect on your performance in the exam. Here is a fact you can’t learn the whole book in an hour if you have not done it many days before. Hence, use the last hour to attempt to relax and calm down yourself before an exam. Imagine yourself sitting peacefully on the test, taking notes, and answering questions.

Hint: If you feel anxious feel exam, sit, relax and calm down. Take a deep breath and observe your surrounding. E.g. drink water, sit and, arrange your stationery and sitting, relax on your chair.

7. Don’t talk about the exam before it.
If you are constantly thinking and talking about the exam before it. Then it makes you anxious about the exam taking.

Hint: Don’t overthink your exam. Rather spend that time in revision or relaxing before an exam.

8. Prepare the exam properly and make a plan for taking it.
A plan will help you to succeed. So that you don’t rush at the last minute and help you to calm down before an exam. It is helpful to spend a few minutes figuring out how the points are divided for each question, how much to spend on each question, which question to begin with, and so on.

Hint: Start with a lengthy question and attempt the question that has maximum marks.

9. If you have any questions, don’t be shy to call.
Assure you clearly understand the directions before starting to answer any questions. Ask for an explanation if you don’t understand anything in the question paper. Don’t create an extra panic if you are not able to understand anything in the exam. Allowing unnecessary worry to build up because you’re unsure of what you’re supposed to do is a poor decision. Also, don’t waste time on tasks that aren’t part of the exam.

Hint: Ask your course instructor about the pattern of questions in the exam.

10. Make sure you don’t get stuck.
Attempting an exam can be stressful. So it is advised to relax before an exam to get your mind active. However, in an exam, your mind can go blank and you can’t think of anything to write about. So don’t get stuck in the thought of “This is difficult”, you can attempt the next question which you know well. Or you can write down anything that comes to mind on your blank paper to help your memory and get your brain to work.

Hint: Attempt the questions which you know well first. For instance, if you get stuck on any topic, leave a space for it to do it at the end and attempt the next item.

11. Calm down to relax before or during the exam.
Relax, close your eyes, and breathe a few deep breaths if you’re getting nervous or can’t think properly. Return to the exam paper after a minute or so of concentrating just on your breathing. It is helpful to take a minute to relax and refocus.

Hint: Stay right here and now. Focus on breathing will allow you to be present at the moment and it is a great way to focus your attention on what is important at that moment.

Chapter 3:

Call to Action

Read the “Exam Anxiety: How Stressing Can They Be” at Espychonline, to know your anxiety related to the exam and manage it thoroughly. Further, you can start a course “Perfectionism” at Epsychonline, to manage your anxiety and time if you have traits of perfectionism in you that may be the cause of exam anxiety. We hope to be a help to you.

"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount