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7 Ways to Beat Exam Stress

Priya Barua has found out remarkable ways of studying efficiently and has shared them with the online community.

De-stressing during the exams is very important.

De-stressing during the exams is very important.

Exams can be very taxing, especially if you haven’t completed the syllabus yet. Your whole body starts to feel the stress and you feel mentally and physically drained. So here are a few nifty tricks to get you refreshed for another study session.

Before you read this, I would like to very clearly state that I am no expert in the field of stress management. I am not a med student or a doctor or even a psychiatrist.

I have written this blog because the following techniques have actually helped me reduce my stress level. So hopefully, these techniques will also help you.

1. Morning Walks

During an exam period, you might feel that taking a walk is almost a luxury you cannot afford. But it is scary how much a walk can clear your mind and refresh your brain especially if you decide to go somewhere where you are surrounded by nature. You will feel much calmer when you return to your desk.

2. Waking up Early

If you ‘studied’ till 3 in the morning, and are waking up at 5 to study again, that's just not a good idea.

First off let me tell you, you've likely already forgotten everything you ‘studied’ up to that point. Your brain requires sufficient rest at night, at least for a minimum of 6 hours. So go to bed at 11 and wake up at 5:30.

Yes, that early. And no, you don’t have to jump back to your desk. Get up, relax, go outside, drink a cup of tea and enjoy the sunrise. You will feel so calm and at peace. Getting up early is almost psychologically beneficial, and I have gained a lot from this simple habit. Take an hour to yourself to simply reflect on the things you need to complete, on how far you’ve come and then by 6:30, you should get down on the table for your morning session. Trust me, you will be surprised by the sort of difference this makes. Try this once, just once, and come back and tell me how you felt.

3. Zumba

Your study sessions should be broken up by moderate breaks. But in the middle, when you do take a long break, make sure you squeeze in some physical exercise. Now, you may/may not have your own exercise routine. But I don’t know how much you sweat or feel active after your work-out and whether or not you feel like you can study for another two hours.

Personally, I used to find exercise very boring. The same old sit-up, push-up, squats and…boring.

I discovered a wonderful thing that is a lot more fun and back-breaking than your normal exercise regime—Zumba! Zumba Dancing is, first of all, super fun - your entire body gets a fitness workout, you will feel intensely happy and active and it will calm your nerves because you will be too busy sweating and releasing endorphins.

I have posted the video for the Zumba work-out that I follow. It’s only a three-minute work-out, but you will be panting by the end of it.

Sleeping reduces stress levels.

Sleeping reduces stress levels.

4. Sleeping

If you feel very, very stressed and nervous about your exams, then go to sleep. I am very serious. Sleeping will block out everything even if it is for a short while and will help reduce stress levels.

Time Table to Follow

Remember to take moderate breaks during study sessions.


5:30 - 5:40 am


5:40 - 6:30 am

Walk/Relax/Make DO-TO list

6:30 - 10:30 am

(1st session) Study/eat breakfast

10: 30 - 11:15 am


11:15 - 1:00 pm

(2nd session) Study

1-00 - 4:30 pm

(Long break) Squeeze in an hour of sleep

4:30 - 4:45 pm


5:00 - 7:00 pm

(3rd Session) Study/eat snack

7:00 - 7:30 pm

Zumba/exercise regime

8:00 - 10:00 pm

(4th session) Study/eat dinner

10:00 - 11:00 pm

Internet surfing/social media

11:00 - 11:30 pm

Get ready for bed

11:30 pm

Lights out

Sitting still in this position will help increase concentration

Sitting still in this position will help increase concentration

5. Yoga-Asana

Do this when you wake up, before you even brush your teeth. There is this technique of breathing through your nose where you inhale through one nostril by blocking the other with your thumb and exhaling through the other nostril while blocking the first with your pinky. You will be wide awake in seconds. There are also a couple of poses that increase concentration. No, yoga actually helps you do that: Sitting absolutely still (as pictured above) crosslegged, your back straight and breathing normally will enhance your concentration level.

6. Not talking to anyone

Strange? But it is true that if you talk to your friends over the phone, right before the exam (we all do that), you might end up getting nervous. It happens to me all the time. You will be reminded of all the things that you are yet to do, and this will make you even more stressed than you already are. So don’t talk to your friends before an exam, and if you do, try hard to stay from the subjects like Are you done with this? Have you completed it? And so on.

7. Self-motivating videos

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but the Internet has more to it than just social media. And there are tons and tons of self-motivating videos on Youtube. And do they help? Of course they do! My favourite Youtube channel for motivating and self-help videos is TED Talks. If you haven’t heard about TED talks, then you are living under a rock. But if you ask for my favourite all-time motivating video, then it is certainly the one I have posted below. Take a quick look to feel intensely motivated. I get goosebumps every time I watch it.

Feel free to drop comments on your tactics of de-stressing before exams.

© 2016 Priya Barua


sheikh farid zulfiqar from lahore on June 23, 2019:

Congradulation Priya it is wounder for me because i joined Hub pages just Eight days before but i did not write a single article many things i do not know i would like to some one guide me if you, i will be very thankful to you

Priya Barua (author) on March 14, 2019:

@Alice - you give it a try and let me know it works for you.

Alice Mungwini on March 13, 2019:

Thank you very much Priya for the blog .I will try no to talk to my friends or classmates about the subject l am writing right before my exam.

kiri on March 07, 2019:

thank you so much Priya.Im going to try it soon

Don on March 06, 2019:


Archbold on February 26, 2019:

The best way to deal with stress during examination is to prepare in advance for your studies. If one prepares himself well in advance there is no room to have stress during exams. one must set aside reading time for each topic and revision time so that by the time the exams are due he/ she will be ready. I also feel that the seven ways are addressing the symptons and not the cause. it will be interesting to find out if can apply the seven ways to manage stress during exam and pass with distinctions without reading

Tony on February 26, 2019:


Oscar on February 24, 2019:

thank you priya how about if you are a part time student

Mutsa on February 24, 2019:

Music does it for me!

Tomcat on February 20, 2019:

@Jane- Girl I agree with you! You will fail. Wasting time like this during exam time? My mother taught me better!

Priya Barua (author) on February 19, 2019:

@precious: Thanks

Priya Barua (author) on February 19, 2019:

@Tadisa- thank you so much for your comment!! I’m really happy it worked out well fo you.

PRECIOUS on February 18, 2019:


Jane on February 17, 2019:

Where are you from? I'm in Africa, I think these things do not work at all here.

Tadisa on February 17, 2019:

I really needed to try this out before I place my comment after reading your article three weeks ago. Well, i am glad to say, this works a hundred and one percent! It goes beyond beating exam stress to beating all kinds of stress. I tell you I managed to go through my exams very well, I feel like a million dollars now even at work with the work pressure, at home with all the chores and children needing my attention. I gather your blog was simply encouraging me to take it easy. Thank you so much Priya.

Priya Barua (author) on February 17, 2019:

@RoB G; if prayer reduces anxiety for you, then go for it.

chipo on February 13, 2019:

eish after that short zumba exercise all l wanted to do was sleep? are you sure this works or l m not fit??

Rob G on February 11, 2019:

Very nice indeed. How about prayer, won’t it also help ease the anxiety?

Kupa on February 11, 2019:

thanks priya this is very very helpfull

Priya Barua (author) on February 11, 2019:

@Maria : sleep is vital before a paper otherwise you will end up under performing!

Aj on February 11, 2019:

I was looking at the time table you posted and I m failing to work around it as I am a part time student any suggestions I can go round it?

Maria on February 01, 2019:

Sleeping during exams means you are ready! Please don't mislead me.

Priya Barua (author) on January 31, 2019:

Thanks, @Olia and @mercy for dropping a comment.

mercy munonyara on January 31, 2019:

this was very helpful. thank you

Priya Barua (author) on January 31, 2019:

Thanks @Patience Ajara

Olia on January 31, 2019:

I enjoyed listening to the motivational staff.It's very uplifting. I'll take risks and face my fears. Thank you

Patience Ajara on January 31, 2019:

This is very interesting Priya, I will definitely try these exercising technics.

Priya Barua (author) on January 31, 2019:

Thanks for the comment @Samantha

Samantha on January 30, 2019:

Thanx priya this is so helpful

Priya Barua (author) on January 30, 2019:

@ Tendayi; it's just a starting point. Feel free to explore further.

Priya Barua (author) on January 30, 2019:

@Rosemary, go ahead!

Priya Barua (author) on January 30, 2019:

@lighthouse, you made my day! I’m really glad that this post helped you.

Lighthouse on January 30, 2019:

This motivation video made me cry..i have found myself today. thank you so much. in fact...i have been stressed lately, not even because of exams but just life...but this article brought a smile to my heart and face somehow. thank you for sharing positivity.

Tendayi on January 30, 2019:

thank you for this information Priya,i have a question though. if i just follow the nostril yoga asana point there on no.5 is it enough or i need to search for more activities under yoga

Priya Barua (author) on January 30, 2019:

Thanks for the comment.

mercy mercy on January 30, 2019:


Priya Barua (author) on January 27, 2019:

No @Tapiwa, stress eating is bad!! Work out instead.

Tapiwa on January 27, 2019:

I cant even sleep during exams, I jus' feel like I have no time to sleep. All I do is eat and study fo hours and hours-are you sure if I over study I forget it all. Do you think eating all the time is even good for lowering exam stress hahahahahaha

Priya Barua (author) on January 14, 2019:

Good luck, @Betina. Do let us know!

Betina on January 14, 2019:

Priya, I needed to read this especially given the fact that I have previously been stressed before exams. Now I can give this a try and definitely give feedback. I also want to say, watching motivational videos on youtube generally makes me feel better so yes! I'm positive it will help relieve me of exam stress and anxiety.

Priya Barua (author) on September 26, 2018:

@Ethel; glad it helped you

Ethel on September 26, 2018:

Very helpful information thanks.

Priya Barua (author) on September 22, 2018:

@Joseph; yes, that is probably a point I should've mentioned. Student activities help to take your mind off the stress!

Joseph Sauramba on September 22, 2018:

Thank you Priya for the tips of dealing with stress that you have highlighted. There are also contributing factors such as students especially first timers have difficulties in adjusting to their academic expectations, lack of educational funding and lack of study skills that will result in stress. I suggest that students may as well take old hobbies or join clubs in order to cope with these challenges.

Priya Barua (author) on September 22, 2018:

@Thanks Shumirai for taking the time to comment! Best of Luck for your exams.

Shumirai on September 21, 2018:

Thanks Priya i could use these tips i have an examination in a few weeks and i am very nervous

Priya Barua (author) on September 09, 2018:

It will @Florence

Florence on September 09, 2018:

I hope this will work for me as I have exam fear.

Priya Barua (author) on July 27, 2018:

Sure it will help @Donell. Thanks for commenting.

Donell Muzerengi on July 27, 2018:

Thank you for the great tips there Priya Barua.Just hoping this is going to help me a lot as well with my friends too

Priya Barua (author) on July 24, 2018:

That’s amazing, Arjun!!! Even I’m in a law school and it has really helped me.

Arjun on July 24, 2018:

The zumba dance helped my wife a lot now she is smiling again, a friend of mine went through your blog and encouraged me to look down to it so as to help my wife who is also pursuing a law degree, thanks!

Priya Barua (author) on July 19, 2018:

@Simbarashe; that’s lovely to know!!!

Priya Barua (author) on July 19, 2018:

@Keith, Absolutely! I make it a point to exercise regularly to keep fit.

Priya Barua (author) on July 19, 2018:

@Chido; always happy to help!

keith madzo on July 19, 2018:

Exercising it is quite good as it makes you to relax ur brains and reduce the burden that u may be going through

Simbarashe Magadu on July 19, 2018:

I gave myself time to watch self motivating videos and tried not talk to my friends during my exam sessions,this really reduced my stress level and even feeling nervous.Thanks Priya Barua,this is so helpful hey.

Chido on July 19, 2018:

Hi, Priya thank you for the tips i have actually used a few tips like taking walks and it seems to help,will definitely encourage my colleagues to use the tips

Priya Barua (author) on July 13, 2018:

Yes @Abel, the zumba is really going to help; appreciate for dropping a comment, thanks.

Abel on July 13, 2018:

Thanks Priya for the useful tips, i hope its really going to help me in my upcomimg exams especially the morning walks and zumba dance.

Nancy on July 13, 2018:



Priya Barua (author) on April 27, 2018:

Exercise is very important @Vinodha. Thanks for taking the time to comment!!!!

Vinodha on April 26, 2018:

Thanks for reminding about exercise.

Almost forgot about it.

Priya Barua (author) on December 29, 2016:

Thanks @sejal

Sejal on December 29, 2016:

Amazing tips...thanks for the help ☺

Priya Barua (author) on September 03, 2016:

Really glad that a professional approves of this post. These techniques are real stress busters. Helps me remain calm.

Abdelhakim Elbarsha from Benghazi/Libya on September 03, 2016:

Great tips! You concentrated more on physical preparedness to overcome exam stress, which is very essential and usually overlooked.

I am used to teach my medical students how manage stress and I pay attention largely to physical aspects as you have nicely outlined.