Surviving revision & exams – 3 easy steps to help you stay calm

calmExams, and the period of revision beforehand can be stressful. However, there are some things you can do to ease the pressure and help you cope better with the stress.


  • Draw up a revision timetable. Make sure it’s realistic for you and then stick to it. Don’t compare yourself to what others are doing – even if your friend has read Sunset Song 14 times, don’t panic and do what works for you.
  • When do you work best? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Plan your timetable to take this into account.
  • Do you need to sit at a tidy and ordered desk or do you prefer to sprawl out on the duvet surrounded by your notes? Wherever is comfortable for you is the best place to be.
  • No one can concentrate for 6 hours straight, so plan smaller chunks of revision and include lots of breaks. See the Pomodoro technique for some great tips on time management.
  • Vary your timetable so that you don’t get bored. No one can survive 4 hours of flat out biology! Mix up the subjects so that your brain doesn’t switch off.


It’s important to build some relaxation and down time into your revision timetable.

  • Reward yourself – Build regular breaks and rewards into your revision timetable. Maybe take the afternoon off to go to the cinema with friends. Allow yourself an hour of telly/Xbox/PS4 in the middle of maths revision. How about going for a walk before tackling history? Plan something to celebrate the end of exams with friends or family.
  • Talk – Virtually everyone finds exams stressful – there won’t be many of your friends who breeze in and out of the exam hall with no worries at all. So you aren’t alone. Share your worries with friends, family, teachers etc and get some support.
  • Look after yourself – eat well, eat healthily with plenty of carbs to fuel your brain. Avoid tonnes of chocolate and litres of caffeine-heavy energy drinks – this will only make you more jittery and nervous.
  • Exercise – Get outside and do something to clear your head, move your body and release any physical tension that has built up whilst you’ve been hunched over your books.
  • RelaxIf you are feeling stressed, find a calm and quiet place to sit and practice deep breathing or even try a visualisation.

 Part 3 – SLEEP

  • Try and get plenty of sleep and avoid staying up to the small hours revising. After a certain time at night, your brain just won’t be able to absorb any more information.
  • If you have difficulty sleeping, there are lots of good tips on getting a good night’s sleep here.
  • If you really can’t sleep the night before an exam, don’t worry. Adrenaline will get you through the day much better than you think.

If you are finding things difficult to cope with, Westend Counselling can provide lots of tips and support in the run-up to and during exams. Contact us here.


This entry was posted in teenagers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.