6 Ways to Relax on Exam Day

College students taking exams

Feeling a bit anxious on exam day is a good sign, as it shows you want to do your best. However, being nervous can also be detrimental if this stops you from performing to your full abilities. To keep your anxiety in check, here are some steps you can take to relax on exam day.

1. Stay Positive

It’s up to you what you think about before your exam. You could worry about the parts of the material you’re still struggling with, the facts you’re unsure you’ll remember, or the odds you don’t gain the grade you want. However, this is counterproductive. Since exam day is now here, there’s nothing more you can do to tackle the things you find difficult. It’s better to think positive thoughts, such as reminding yourself of all the hard work you’ve put in to get this far.

Maintain this positive thinking throughout the exam, including if you encounter a question you’re unsure how to answer. It’s normal to feel stumped by a question or two — this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll do poorly overall. If it’s a multiple choice question, make a guess. If the question requires a written answer, provide as many points as you can and move on.

2. Take Care of Your Physical Health

Sleep enough the day before the exam to ensure you wake up feeling well rested. Fuel your body with healthy food and fit a short workout in before your exam, if possible.

3. Practice Breathing Exercises

Right before the exam, calm yourself with some breathing exercises. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Try to clear your mind of intrusive thoughts as you do so.

4. Organize Your Time

Check the clock at regular intervals during the exam to make sure you won’t run out of time. If you’re finding a particular question extra difficult, avoid spending too long on it — this will only make you feel stressed. It’s often better to move on to questions you feel confident about answering and return to the challenging ones at the end.

5. Write Notes Before Answering a Question

Questions that require you to write an essay or long answer can be especially intimidating. If your mind goes blank, don’t panic. Underline the keywords and write some ideas about how you could answer the question. You should find it much easier to approach the question once you have some notes.

6. Ignore Everyone Else

Checking what the people around you are doing will only make you feel more anxious. Plus, this is a waste of time because it doesn’t matter. Whereas some students may be writing furiously, there are sure to be others who aren’t. It’s best to ignore everything happening around you (as well as any thoughts that pop into your head that are unrelated to the exam) and just focus on answering the questions in front of you.

It’s important to have somewhere you can mentally prepare for your exams — and where you can return when it’s all over to relax. You can find the perfect home at 1Eleven. Our UOttawa off-campus housing can provide you with a comfortable bedroom in a large, fully-furnished suite or your own bachelor apartment. Plus, you’ll have access to all the common areas: you can study for your exams in our WiFi study spaces or let off steam in our fitness and yoga studio. Book a video tour to see the facilities for yourself.

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