Exam Stress

Feeling stressed about exams and assignments?

The summer assessment period can be tough. You might feel stressed at the scale of your workload, or anxious about what topics you'll be asked about in exams, or you might just be annoyed by the sudden increase of people in your normal quiet corner of the library!

A bit of extra pressure can sometimes be a good thing; it can give you the kick you need to stop procrastinating and get on with your revision or start writing that assignment. Stress is often part of the process.

The important thing though is that stress you are feeling doesn't get to a point where you find it overwhelming. 

Work out the basics: when your exams are, how the marks are allocated and how much you have to learn for each one. Once you’ve got a plan it will be easier to get on with a task without procrastinating. And don’t set yourself ridiculous goals. If you give yourself too much to do in a day you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. Think about when and where you work best. Not everyone is a morning person and sometimes it’s hard to be productive in the library. There are lots of study spaces around campus other than Clifford Whitworth or if the weather’s nice why not sit outside?

Don’t be put off by other people saying they’re doing huge amounts of revision. One of the main causes of exam stress is comparing yourself to others. You could discuss with your parents or partner what they are expecting you to achieve. Family with steep or unrealistic expectations will just add unnecessary pressure. It’s helpful to let them know what you have the capacity to achieve and to insist that the best way to get there is to have their support not pressure.

If you do feel that the stress levels are getting to you and you’re not coping very well please speak to someone sooner rather than later. You can call in and speak to the askUS desk in University House. If you're stressed out during your exams and need someone to talk to in the evening or through the night remember that you can always talk confidentially to Nightline over the phone between 8pm and 8am or use their new instant messenger service between 8pm and midnight. These services are only open during term time but during the holidays you can still email them on nightmail@nightline.manchester.ac.uk.

It'll all be okay in the end!

Ultimately, just remember that exams aren’t everything. Whatever your results you can still be successful in life afterwards. Employers don’t just look at your exam scores. They are just as interested in your attitude, your transferable skills and how you get on with other people. You've already done incredibly well to get in to uni, and your results at this point don’t diminish your past success. Once you’ve done an exam, try to forget about it. There's nothing you can do about it now, and worrying won't change your mark.