When you are revising for a few weeks before an exam, you will probably, at some point, experience anxiety and revision stress. This is perfectly normal, and everyone will experience it to varying degrees.
As the exam gets closer and closer, you start to feel pressure. Will you be ready in time? Are you doing enough revision? What if you don’t get the grade you want? Thoughts like these are typical but not very helpful.
The stress comes from the realisation that you might not get what you want, and that day is approaching soon. And once you are stressed, then the quality of your revision is affected.
This is one reason why some people who study for 7 hours a day still don’t do very well.
But! You need to remember that all these thoughts are irrational fabrications of your mind.
As we have said many times, the exam is simply a way of assessing how well you have prepared. Do the preparation well, and you have nothing to fear.
You need to get your mind working for you here. It is generally accepted that exams are seen as the most awful things in the world, and it has been this way for god knows how many years. But it’s just not true.
I’ll say it again: the exam is simply a way of assessing how well you have prepared. Do the preparation well, and you have nothing to fear.
I used to look upon the exam as a reward. The many weeks of revision before are actually the most challenging part. The exam itself is just two more hours then you’re free! I would look forward to the exam as it signalled the end of all those weeks of horrendous revision.
Handling Revision Stress – Preparation
Study Throughout the Year
You start to determine your exam results the day that school or university starts, NOT 9 months later on one particular day. If you can really cement this point into your mind, then you will achieve great things.
If you have been studying properly throughout the year, then the revision period is much less of a problem as you firstly won’t have to do nearly as much and you will also already be in “revision mode”.
The beauty of studying from the word go is that there is no looming exam deadline; there is no worrying about exams as you feel that the exam is miles away. You are much more likely to be relaxed. When you are relaxed, you will do much better work and use your time a lot better.
Revising Before the Exam
At some point, you will probably have to decide to start revising. Maybe for you, it is when you have finished the course, or you are officially on study leave.
If you want to reduce revision stress, start revising two weeks sooner than you intended to. Even if you are not on study leave yet, do a bit each night. You will automatically feel like you have a head start on everybody else.
It is a combination of beliefs, good study throughout the year and starting your revision a bit earlier than normal. If you can do this, then you won’t experience anywhere near as much revision stress.
About the Author
Kevin Boyle is a full-time A-level Chemistry Tutor with 15 years experience and a proven track record with students of all abilities. As an online chemistry tutor, he works with students across the UK, equipping them with the skills they need to excel in their exams.