3 Exercises to Stay Calm During Exams

21 December, 2020
Facing exams can be quite stressful. Today, you'll find out how to stay calm during this situation.

Exams can cause stress, tension and anxiety in students, especially high school students. That’s why in this article, we’ll offer some tips on how to stay calm during exams, which you can show your children.

Firstly, you should bear in mind that failing at school isn’t always due to learning difficulties. Many times, we find it hard to control nervousness before sitting for exams. And, this can make us forget all the information we’ve acquired when studying. Plus, we may find it hard to write down or express our knowledge properly.

3 Exercises to Stay Calm During Exams

3 exercises to stay calm during exams

Most teachers use exams to find out what their students have learned along the course of studies. Students also have the responsibility of passing the exams. So, it’s understandable that they feel nervous, stressed and worried in these situations that are so common within the school system.

Fortunately, they can learn to manage these negative feelings and thoughts. But how can they do that? Next, we’ll show you how.

1. Control your breathing and relax

If you feel nervous or insecure before sitting for exams, you should relax and control your breathing. Here’s an easy exercise you can practice:

  • Sit comfortably at your school desk.
  • Think about something nice.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply, and count to 10.

You should follow these step a few minutes before starting the test you’re so worried about.

“When the mind is allowed to relax, inspiration often follows.”

– Phil Jackson –

2. Practice thought stopping

Another useful tip to stay calm before exams is to practice thought stopping. To do this, you have to interrupt intrusive thoughts or ruminations (I’ll fail; I’m not good at this; they’ll ask me what I don’t know, etc.) and replace them with positive thoughts.

To help you stop your thoughts, you should use a specific stimulus, like pinching or slapping yourself, slightly tapping an object or saying things like stop! or enough!, etc.). After doing this, you have to change your focus of attention and think about nice and realistic things (I’ve studied enough; I’m sure I’ll pass the exam; I know I can do this, etc.).

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

– Norman Vincent Peale –

3. Trust yourself

One of the key elements to get good results in your exams is to trust yourself and in your abilities. This means that, if you make an effort and study, you’ll probably do it well. So, you shouldn’t worry about it.

However, there will always be certain elements you won’t be able to control. Therefore, if by any reason, it doesn’t result as you expected, don’t be discouraged, because it’s not the end of the world.

3 Exercises to Stay Calm During Exams

“Never consider (the) study as an obligation but as an opportunity to penetrate the beautiful and wonderful world of knowledge.”

– Albert Einstein –

Importance of staying calm during exams

Staying calm during exams is the best way to overcome this situation. Because, a calm and quiet mind is almost a synonym of success.

When you control your nerves, it’s easier to think and express yourself clearly. On the contrary, when you’re nervous, you may feel “foggy” in the head and waste all your sacrifice and knowledge.

In conclusion, it’s really important to learn to stay calm during exams. To do this, we recommend trying out the exercises we explained in this article.

  • Serrate, R. (2008). Ayúdale a estudiar. Las claves del éxito escolar. España: Ediciones del Laberinto.