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Managing stress during exam season

It’s no secret that exams can be stressful. However, there are ways to help stay on top of stress and manage your workload to make it feel much more manageable. In this blog we look at a few ideas on how to reduce and stay on top of stress during your exams and where you can implement them into your study routine.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 11 March 2024.

Set realistic goals

It is incredibly important to set realistic goals when revising. Setting goals that are too ambitious can lead to frustration and demotivation if they're not attainable. By setting realistic goals you can help boost your motivation by achieving smaller, realistic goals creating a sense of accomplishment and helping you create manageable stepping stones to your final target.

Don’t compare yourself

Theodore Roosevelt once said that “comparison is the thief of joy”, and during exam season this is such a vital thing to remember. Don’t look around and think others are studying longer, they understand the material better or even that they seem more relaxed than you. You don’t know what other people are really feeling and what works for them might not work for you. You know what is going to get you through your exams better than anyone else and comparing yourself to other people is only going to set you up to feel unhappy with yourself.

Get active

During exam season it can be easy to get caught up in revision and nothing else, however, getting moving is proven to help reduce stress. Whilst we all know that physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins, it can be easy to forget to prioritise it when exams feel like your top priority.  By going outside and getting in just half an hour of movement you’ll increase your productivity and get more out of your study session. You can check out our Cheap ways to stay fit and healthy blog for a few suggestions on how to get active on a budget.


Researchers have found journaling can help reduce intrusive thoughts, organise scattered memories and improve your overall mental and physical health. Journaling also helps people hone their focus so that they think about only one thing at a time- making it an excellent hobby during exam season.


Ask for and accept help

During exam season it is essential to ask for help when you need it, but also to accept that help when it is offered. It can be intimidating to ask for help, and it can be easy to dismiss the help of others if they aren’t saying what you want to hear. For example, if they tell you to take a step away from your workload and you feel you don’t have time- even if you are overwhelmed and it isn’t doing you any good. Remember that people have your best interests at heart and want to help you.


Remember that exams are only a small amount of time and they do not equal your success. We are here to look after you whilst you are studying, and you can find out how we support our student’s wellbeing by checking out our support hub.