Over 3 million people will sit exams over this summer. The ChildLine National Exam Stress Survey revealed that 96% of the 1300 who completed the survey felt anxious about exams and revision. Of those, 59% are feeling pressure to do well and 64% say they’ve never received any support in dealing with exams. Shocking. Whatever exams your facing – perhaps school papers, final exams, driving test or something related to work, being mentally prepared and looking out for your wellbeing is the first step to set you on the right path for success.
To be honest, I’m really not surprised with these statistics – there is too much pressure and expectation, and I personally think its unrealistic for to expect 15 year olds to perform to achieve A grades. Everyone has a different story, and often, the ability to learn is different. While schools do their best to teach in a person-centred approach the final test still grades people’s worth by how they perform in that two hours. The result will not define you – whether it’s good or bad – and your future is something you work for and work towards each and every day.
I’m not here to teach you how to study, approach revision planning or prepare for the exam itself, I will share with you some powerful coping skills so that you apply yourself in the best possible way, positively and confidently so you can take back control and be in a good position to relax and even enjoy the process.
Coping with exams easily with SuziB’s 8 step mini guide.
Trust yourself: Exam stress pressure can be deep routed – a fear of failure, pressure of guilt if you don’t get the grade or what others expect of you, an overwhelming sense of panic, feeling sick, emotions flying around and a belief that you’re not actually going to absorb all the information. Fear serves to protect us. Ask yourself this; are you living to ‘your values’ or simply struggling to live up to someone else’s? Knowing where you’re coming from will help.
It’s all about you: It is your prerogative to change. Your voice can be heard. Your future will not happen by chance, it will happen when you make a decision to change and work towards your inner wishes, dreams, aspirations and purpose. Be bold and confident that you are on a journey and know you are more than a grade or exam result.
Connect to the motion: Your feelings are your gateway to creative self discovery. Learn about your mental wellbeing, make this priority now and it will sever you well in your life. Take a moment to acknowledge the feeling. There are three different types of anxiety – a general feeling of worry, a sudden attack of panicky feeling, or a fear of certain situation or objects. Nerves and stress is a ways of expressing an imbalance of unhappiness within your emotions, like shame, hurt, frustration or sadness. Recognise them and know them for what they are.
Breathe: The easiest way to change your inner emotions is to breathe, move, look up, create…repeat. Check out these breathing exercises for a quick and easy to apply guide. Each breathe we take enables us to connect deeply and infuse your life force with purpose and being. It allows you to confidently explore and connect to yourself and those around you.
NOW Get creative: It’s really good to visualise your destination. Take yourself into your imagination to the outcome you want and think about what it would be like – what you will hear, see and feel on arrive. So forget about the imminent exam pressure and go to perhaps a year or two or even 5 years into the future and notice what you’re doing. If you find it hard to visualise spend some time creating a vision board this can be an easy fun way to help the mind see the bigger picture of your wishes and dreams.
Be the master of your destiny: Decide whether you are master of your destiny or whether you are being driven by outside forces. Consider this: as you anticipate your opportunities, is it more important to apply yourself well or to prove yourself and others right? And then ask how doing this will benefit your future? Trust your deepest values as this will be your biggest motivation for change as it will propel you down the route to doing what you really want.
Discover the support: Sometimes were so wrapped up in the situation we can’t even see the support that’s available to us. The inner critic is working overtime and our mind filters can be searching for all things negative to almost prove to us that our inner critic is right. Talk to friends, family, teachers or others going through the same as you. Create bridges, create bonds, share experiences and build lifelong friendships. Practice mindfulness.
Make you the priority: The most important person in any situation is you, this might sound selfish but it’s true. Rather than thinking about the grade A, you could consider how you might respond to not getting the top grade and instead what it would feel like to achieve your outcome another way. The journey between the present state and your desired outcome is the process of change. You will find a way, YOUR WAY.
Be a smart reviser, eat wise and drink well and good luck.
Contact me if you want a personal plan to support you emotional through a time of exam stress.
Love. Respect. Protect.
Suzi B xx