How To Handle Your Stress When Exam Is Approaching?

dear-stress-lets-break-up

We have received enormous amount of stress rescue requests from candidates. Especially when the exam is approaching.

We do hope parents and educators are paying kind attention to this post.

All of the candidates are pouring their hearts out to us, crying for help, because there is really no one listening to them or helping them.

Here are some of their cry out:

  • Fear of failing
  • Not being able to recall stuff I just studied
  • Not enough time!!!
  • I’m so scared right now! Do you think there’s any chance I might improve in time for my examinations?
  • Pressure from teachers and parents
  • Feeling like I’m not worth anything or good enough
  • I feel myself getting everything and understanding it but if I try to solve anything, it just doesn’t happen and it’s extremely frustrating.
  • My teachers do not seem passionate with teaching, they are interested in being given more money incentives on top of their salaries, they want money, my school is poor to pay more money
  • I am scared from the examinations

… and many many more.

Therefore, in today’s Q&A, we will talk about how to “handle” your stress. Hope this would help you not only in your exam, you probably will carry this throughout your life 🙂

Can We “Handle” Stress?

Contrary to popular belief, we CAN NOT “handle” stress.

Stress does not exist. It is NOT a thing that you can hold nor eat 😉

Stress is a feeling resulting from your thought.

From your ‘negative’ thought to be precise.

When your mind constantly thinking on negative thoughts, for example: you are scared to fail, or not getting an A*, or not good enough comparing to your older brothers or sisters, etc…; you create a bad feeling inside your body from all the negative thoughts.

The bad feeling that you feel, is what you call ‘stress’.

The more you want to “handle” your stress, the more you think there is something wrong about you. Then, you put more pressure and create more unwanted negative thoughts about yourself.

Why would you do that then?

Shall we agree from now on you don’t try to “handle” your stress anymore?

We only take “YES” as the answer 😉

So what should you do then? Keep reading…

1. Admit You Have Negative Thought(s)

There is really no big deal to admit we have negative thoughts. Everyone has them.

Just the courage to admit we have them, we have already eliminated most of the bad feelings.

Aren’t you feel lighter now?

Know that you can’t fight darkness with darkness. You can only fight darkness with light. By admitting the existence of negativity, you have inserted the light of positivity.

That is the most important starting point, and it is essential for you to continue to the next step.

2. Change Your Thoughts

Now that you know stress is the bad feelings you created from all your negative thoughts.

All you need to do now is - Change Your Thoughts.

Here are some steps for you to start doing that:

  • Start by imagining the positive outcomes that you want to see or to have. For example: imagine you score A* in Maths, then feel the happiness feeling when you see your result slip.
    As Albert Einstein said: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

  • Make a list of things that you are afraid or frustrated of. Next, write the positive opposite of it. For example: I am scared of exams. The positive opposite you could write: I handle exam with ease / I write smoothly in the exam / I am entering the exam hall will full energy and I can’t wait to put everything I know down on the paper to show that I deserved an A* 🙂

  • Know that examination is just a method used to see if you have understood the theory thoroughly and know how to present it out.

  • Examination is also a way to let you find out what is your best talent. You will notice a trend that you tend to do well in certain subjects, but not the others. So, there is really no big deal if you can’t do well in Physics but trump in Arts. Because that is your best talent that you are meant to be the best in order to contribute to mankind in the future.

When you are making your list, you will notice that you have a shift in your feeling.

You will feel must lighter, your mind is clearer, you have so much energy that you want to jump into the exam hall right now, and most importantly, you will notice a big smile on your face - because now you are a much happier person!

The final step is, you must train yourself to keep this happy feeling and not let yourself slide backwards again to the negative thoughts.

Step 3 will show you exactly how to do that.

3. Get Good Results By Keeping The Positive Thoughts

The best way to keep your mind on positive thoughts is - gratitude.

If you make a search, you will discover many great minds had always said the same thing about gratitude, and what kind of miracle it would bring to you.

Here are some of them:

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ~ Tony Robbins

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…. It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.” ~ Melodie Beatty

Make gratitude your daily dose in your daily life.

You could be grateful for the chance to study, the ability to read and write, to be able to attend your exam at your comfort, to have a comfortable bed to sleep on each night, the luxury of clean running water and electricity, the money that have been given to you so you could continue your education, the fresh air, all your favourite food that is always available at your reach, etc etc etc …

The list is so vast that we simply couldn’t put everything here. But you get the idea of where to start 🙂

Pay attention to how you feel. If you are not feeling good, that means your mind is currently broadcasting negative thoughts.

Immediately find anything you could be grateful for to shift to positive thought.

***

Last but not least, please know that you are a worthy human being. Everyone is.

We are all here to do something important. We are all equipped with a special talent that only we have, no one else.

And we are meant to find out what we are good at, so we could contribute this talent to mankind. When you are contributing your best talent for the benefit of mankind, you will be rewarded handsomely (a.k.a earning a lot of money). 🙂

So now, go out there and score A*!


274 Replies to “How To Handle Your Stress When Exam Is Approaching?”

  1. Dear IGCSE,
    I want to study pharmacy and I’m not really sure of the subjects to offer.
    But the confusion comes when am asked if I am going to write A math.
    So actually am asking if I need A math for pharmacy.

    • Hi Princess,

      Usually, the required subjects for pharmacy/medicine are: English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Add Maths. As such, you may be required to take Maths. Furthermore, we strongly suggest you to check with the university you wish to apply to, and get confirmation on the required subjects for pharmacy/medicine.

  2. HI…I am an IGCSE student from India.I am writing the IGCSE exam in 2019..I am already in the study mode . I am now completely banned from playing games or anything that could create a disturbance to my brain…It is not stress what i feel…although fear has taken over a little.

    • Hi Kishan,

      Yes, it is never too early to start your revision. You can revise the subjects from the beginning. Highlight the important facts that you think could be on the test (you should refer to the latest syllabus on what is expected during exams here: http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-subjects-syllabuses/). You can then use the past exam papers (http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-past-exam-papers/) as your revision. Start with the latest papers as they have the newest syllabus format and continue with the older ones date back from 5 to 10 years. Then, revise on the most common mistakes that you always seem to make. Pay attention to the most common mistakes you always seem to make. Make notes and revise them, so you can avoid making the same mistakes in your actual exam.

      Furthermore, we suggest that you draw up a study table and block in all activities, classes, and any household or other responsibilities you may have. Include meal times and travel time. BE REALISTIC. This should be an actual timetable, which is possible, not some ideal that can never be achieved. Work out your most effective study times and pace yourself throughout the day and week. Do not beat yourself up. Good luck!

    • Hi Tom,

      Don’t lose hope – obtaining bad marks does not mean “have failed in life”. If you wish to retake your exams, you are free to do so. The result will not replace the old one. However, you may choose which certificate to use based on the highest achieved grade.

      You might be interested in our online revision course. These had helped numerous students to score A*. Read more about our online courses here: http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-revision-courses/. Our next revision courses will be in March 2019. Do subscribe to our newsletter so you won’t miss our announcement.

  3. Hi… I m a student and I will be sitting for IGCSE exam in 2019. I would really like to go for medicine ( Dermatologist). My most weakness is in Physics which I’m really not good at it. I would like to know if this subject would be needed for someone who wants to become a doctor in the future.
    Im currently taking ( Bio, Chem, A.Math) would they be helpful in my career except Physics ?

    • Hi Jason,

      Usually, the required subjects for medicine are: English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Add Maths. As such, you may be required to take Physics. Furthermore, we strongly suggest you to check with the university you wish to apply to, and get confirmation on the required subjects for medicine.

      You might be interested in our online revision course. These had helped numerous students to score A*. Read more about our online courses here: http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-revision-courses/. Our next revision courses will be in March 2019. Do subscribe to our newsletter so you won’t miss our announcement.

  4. hi! thanks for the tips it was a little helpful. but i would really like if you tell me tips on how to study computer science. so i have recently shifted from ICT to computer science at the last minute since i shifted countries and the school didnt offer ICT. I have my pre boards in a week and i have no idea what to do , the teacher only briefed me with 2 chapters. so could please suggest me any tutorials or websites where i could possibly try to study the WHOLE portion in a week! i have my final exam in october but my pre board is next week. please help me !!!!

  5. HI,
    MY FIRST PRELIM IS APPROACHING VERY SOON AND I’M STRESSED ALL THE TIME. I CANNOT PAY ATTENTION TO MY STUDIES BECAUSE OF STRESS AND PRESSURE AND STRESS GOING ON IN MY MIND. I HAVE GONE THROUGH MANY THINGS OF HOW TO REDUCE STRESS BUT ALL OF THIS IS NOT WORKING AND EVERY TIME I START STUDYING FOR MY EXAMS, I GET NERVOUS AND MY MIND DIVERTS AND I START THINKING ABOUT ME GETTING FAIL.
    PLEASE HELP T COPE UP WITH ALL THIS AND GIVE ME SOME TIPS OF HOW TO STUDY WITHOUT STRESS!

    • Hi Disha,

      Please read the above article, they are extremely helpful to reduce your stress 🙂

      You must put your mind on studying, not “stressing”. When you concentrate in one thing, your mind can’t think of another thing.

      Furthermore, at this point of time, you shouldn’t rush to practice lots of past exam papers. This would stress you out. Just take all your previous practices, and go through all the common mistakes that you normally make. Go through them with a calm mind, and not beat yourself up for the mistakes that you had done. Take deep breath.

      Before you go to sleep tonight, tell yourself that: “I know I can score well tomorrow. Thank you for everything.”. Just rest early. 🙂

  6. Hi

    I have just finished my IGCSE Physics exam today and found it extremely difficult despite completing the whole course properly and studying hard. I usually do not have bad grades but this time I am seriously concerned whether I will pass which has never happened before. What contributes to my fear is my classmates constantly comparing their results with me where I keep finding myself wrong. Please help me cope with this stress and fear of failure this summer.🙁

    • Hi Izzy,

      First of all relax and take some deep breaths. Meditate, practice yoga, exercise, listen to music, play video games or do whatever that makes you feel calm. Do not go over your notes as well as do not talk to your classmates about the test you just wrote. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Realise your own expectations – what would you be happy with. Use your holiday break to do something you enjoy and be productive. Lastly, don’t miss out on happy moments with worry about your results.

  7. Hi! tomorrow is my English Listening Test. I don’t know how to improve my listening skill, and now I am very frustrating and feel stress because I didn’t do well in last few papers.. i scare this emotion will affect me to score well in Listening paper and math paper.. Please Help me!! i cried a lot yesterday and today.. Thank You..

    • Hi ZH,

      You can try some (or all) of these tips:
      – Eat and drink healthily
      – Prepare ahead of time by working on sections of the content each day
      – Get enough sleep
      – Use practice exam papers as an opportunity to manage anxiety
      – Try replacing negative thoughts with more encouraging self-talk by challenging your worried and negative thoughts
      – Practice focusing your attention on the task at hand, rather than getting tangled in your anxiety and thinking of the “what if?”
      – Incorporate some light exercise into your daily routine to give your mind a chance to focus on something other than schoolwork.
      – Simulate the test environment by turning off your phone and isolating yourself in your classroom or in the library, and give yourself only the amount of time you will be allotted during the actual test. Don’t pause to look at your phone or check Facebook, and try to treat the test like the real thing.

  8. Hi, this is a great guide,
    I am in 10th grade and I am really scared of exams. In exams halls I literally can go blank especially in maths but eventually it’s starts to come back to me.
    I feel stressed while studying and sometimes i completely avoid it. i have exams in June and i have no idea where to starts studying for 15 electives.
    any advice?

    • You can try some (or all) of these tips:
      – Eat and drink healthily
      – Prepare ahead of time by working on sections of the content each day
      – Get enough sleep
      – Use practice exam papers as an opportunity to manage anxiety
      – Try replacing negative thoughts with more encouraging self-talk by challenging your worried and negative thoughts
      – Practice focusing your attention on the task at hand, rather than getting tangled in your anxiety and thinking of the “what if?”
      – Incorporate some light exercise into your daily routine to give your mind a chance to focus on something other than schoolwork.
      – Simulate the test environment by turning off your phone and isolating yourself in your classroom or in the library, and give yourself only the amount of time you will be allotted during the actual test. Don’t pause to look at your phone or check Facebook, and try to treat the test like the real thing.

    • Hi Abraj,

      You can try some (or all) of these tips:
      – Eat and drink healthily
      – Prepare ahead of time by working on sections of the content each day
      – Get enough sleep
      – Use practice exam papers as an opportunity to manage anxiety
      – Try replacing negative thoughts with more encouraging self-talk by challenging your worried and negative thoughts
      – Practice focusing your attention on the task at hand, rather than getting tangled in your anxiety and thinking of the “what if?”
      – Incorporate some light exercise into your daily routine to give your mind a chance to focus on something other than schoolwork.
      – Simulate the test environment by turning off your phone and isolating yourself in your classroom or in the library, and give yourself only the amount of time you will be allotted during the actual test. Don’t pause to look at your phone or check Facebook, and try to treat the test like the real thing.

  9. IGCSE Centre, You have been an excellent guideline through my 3 years of IGCSE. I am currently giving my IGCSE Board Examination In Feb/March. You have given me confidence that i can do it. Without you awesome tips and mind-bobbling Model answers, i think i wouldn’t be so confident in writing my examination. This place has been a sanctuary for me for the past 3 years. Once again, thank you IGCSE Centre, and probably i can get good grades because of you 🙂

  10. I have my exams starting from 19th of feb and I know all the concepts but I end up doing silly mistakes in the paper. How do I prevent these errors

  11. i’m having my exams this year probably 4 months away from today and i’m really freaking out and i can’t manage to study well and end up studying for a maximum of 30 minutes throughout the whole day and i’m full of negative thoughts and whenever i try to do anything to take these negative thoughts away i end up even having more negative thoughts please help i even read the article and still not capable of doing anything and my parents literally every day keep pushing me and putting a lot of pressure on me and telling me that i’m never gonna be like my brothers :/ please help!!!!!!

    • Hi Bob,

      You must put your mind on studying, not “stressing.” When you concentrate in one thing, your mind can’t think of another thing. And of course, don’t forget to relax. 🙂

    • Hi Ryan,

      With Chemistry, you’ll need a lot of practice.

      1. Learn and understand the key concepts and formulas. Familiarise/memorise the key equations/formulas (refer to the latest syllabus on what is expected: http://www.igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-subjects-syllabuses/ ).
      2. Do revision based on the latest syllabus and practice with the latest past exam papers (http://igcsecentre.com/cambridge-igcse-past-exam-papers/ ). Pay attention to the most common mistakes you always seem to make. Make notes and revise them, so you can avoid making the same mistakes in your actual exam.
      Tips:
      Minimize your reference checks. Try solving a problem with the formula without looking it up. You MUST do this as many times as you can. You will be able to remember the formulas/key equations better when you repeat this step.

      Hope this helps.

  12. Iam really trying to improve my writing skills …although i make sure to read articles before writing my own one , i take too long time to finish one piece of writing of good quality .any ideas!!!

  13. I have history depth study test on Thursday and I don’t know where to start. Do you have any questions based on Arab Israeli or South Africa 20th century ?

  14. This is my first examination and I’m freaking out but I know I can do it’s cuz I believe myself and please help me to reduse my stress!!

    • Hi Liyana,
      Please read the above article, they are extremely helpful to reduce your stress 🙂

      You must put your mind on studying, not “stressing”. When you concentrate in one thing, your mind can’t think of another thing.

  15. I have a math exam tomorrow and I barely think I will get good marks. I’m trying to think positive but I cant…..please I need much help

  16. Thank you for this piece I always read it before starting any of my exams, I am doing my A levels this year and your website really helped me revise and gain access to past papers, without it I don’t think I would have surpassed all my techaers’ expectations.

  17. Hi!
    Thank you for helping us out!
    I have completed 20 of my IGCSE exams, I have 6 to go.
    I have physics tomorrow and I am prepared although my efficiency in answering papers for any subject at this point has hit rock bottom. Therefore, when I practice papers I either make silly mistakes or just completely blank out.
    I’m not sure how I should sort myself out…
    I’m not stressed but at the same time, I’m worried that few hours before the exam I’ll stress out and think negatively.
    Can you please help me?

    • Hi Padmaja,
      At this point of time, you shouldn’t rush to practice lots of past exam papers. This would stress you out. Just take all your previous practices, and go through all the common mistakes that you normally make. Go through them with a calm mind, and not beat yourself up for the mistakes that you had done. Take deep breath.

      Before you go to sleep tonight, tell yourself that: “I know I can score well tomorrow. Thank you for everything.”. Just rest early. 🙂

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