Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before an Exam

November 09,2018

Do your tummy always ache before stepping into the exam hall?

Stress and nervousness, especially, seem to go hand in hand with academic exams. While some stress and a “slight case of nerves” will likely always be a part of any test-taker’s experience, being overly nervous can affect exam performance in a bad way. Being too nervous can affect memory, concentration, cause thoughts to race, cause “blank-outs”, and create other distractions during the exam, as well as give rise, among other things, to feelings of discouragement.

If you’re one of those test-takers who gets very nervous about exams and wants to find effective ways to “calm down”, read on to learn about some ways to deal with test-time nerves!


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Studies show that anxiety partly stem from poor diet. It’s all too common for college students to neglect their diet and form poor eating habits. You can try all the calming techniques below in order to settle pre-exam nerves. Some key dietary factors related to anxiety and nerves are having a well-balanced diet, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine before an exam, drink enough water, take in more Magnesium rich food, Zinc bearing food, Omega-3, Vitamin B and eat food rich in antioxidants!


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This one is obvious, right? If you’re well prepared for an exam and have given the material the needed time and attention to master it, chances are you’ll be feeling a lot less nervous. It sure beats cramming all night, giving up sleep and rushing short of breath into the classroom!


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A warm bath of itself lightens life’s daily burdens. And when Epsom salt is added to the mix emotions are buoyed up and anxiety melts away. For pre-exam anxiety, an Epsom salt bath might just the remedy. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which helps boost feelings of calm and relaxation. Magnesium, then, is able to be absorbed through the skin. The Sulfate in the salt can help with pain and inflammation.


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This is another obvious one, right? Everyone knows that sleep is not just a requirement for academic success but is necessary for good health. A lack of sleep carries with it a number of negative symptoms including depression, lessened affability, memory problems, diminished critical thinking skills as well as anxiety and nervousness. A sleepy student is a poorer and more anxious student. So you should try to get a min. of 7-8 hours of solid sleep each night in order to maintain good health and calm those nerves!


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Breathing is good for one’s health! Not a shocker here! All too often, however, stress creates anxiety and nervousness, which affect our breathing patterns. Over a period of time this seems to reinforce feelings of anxiety and nervousness. Exam nerves can also have this effect. It is important to be aware of breathing when managing stressful situations.


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Many traditions throughout the worldwide have developed very specific forms of stretching in the contexts of meditation, prayer and/or relaxation. Researchers in several studies have shown that stretching can help reduce stress and feelings of anxiety and nervousness. So, if you’re having an attack of nerves over an upcoming test, warm up a bit and then stretch your muscles to settles your nerves back down.


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Did you know that some teas can help reduce anxiety and feelings of stress and nervousness? A warm cup of tea may help you settle nerves frazzled by study and exam anxiety. The warmth of the liquid, the patient process of sipping and the effects of the tea itself work together to calm the spirits of every exam taker. There are several tea formulated to boost feeling of relaxation and calm. Try Peppermint tea, Chamomile tea, Green tea and Rose tea.

8. Exercise to Reduce Anxiety and Settle Nerves

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Like some of the other ways to control exam day nervousness, this option will likely take some long-term commitment. There is a strong link between regular exercise and a sense of well-being and health that can reduce anxiety and help with stress. Exercise has been shown to cause the release of “feel-good” endorphin chemicals. Exercise also helps boost confidence, foster more social interaction and provide healthy ways to cope with the stresses of college life.

Good luck and all the best to all students who are taking O/A Level this year, just do the best you can! o/ o/