Are your exams around the corner? Are you going berserk trying to cope with the stress? Are you beating yourself on the head with a timetable which is impossible to maintain? What you need to do is ease out and follow some important advice to cope with the pressure to be able to perform well. It is important to create space and time to be able to deal with exam pressure effectively and to organize an effective delivery of your best effort.

Cut out the stress and give yourself relaxation time

You need to be in your best relaxed state of mind to write a good exam. You cannot do it if you are stressed out, if you haven’t relaxed or not slept well. Make sure you have packed in ample relaxation time and that you have given your mind enough space to be able to perform well through the exam. Ample exercise, rest and sleep are important in exam days.

Set realistic targets

Setting targets that are easy to achieve is key to maintaining the pressure on yourself during exams. It is also important for maintaining your confidence level during exams. Saying to yourself that you will finish revising one chapter every morning and not two for example, is important to be able to stay realistic and meet your goals. See: Tabling Time for UPSC Civil Services Success – Tips on Time Management

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Drink less coffee

Coffee is good and bad during exams. While it keeps you active, it also increases your stress. Drinking more water and juice is better. Getting sleep instead of staying up late on coffee is also a better idea to keep your energy levels high during exams…

Get enough sleep

To maintain appropriate levels of concentration and memory you need adequate sleep. Make sure you are sleeping for at least eight hours in the night and one hour in the afternoon during exam days. It is not always easy to do with the timetables we set ourselves, but it is very rewarding and takes up our productivity levels. This is a better decision in the long run.

Start studying early

Always start your preparation early in the day. Productivity levels are high in the morning and a lot of work can be finished by starting early. This also leaves time for revision and taking up notes later in the day, as it does for resting and exercising and maintaining a balanced day.

Read your notes completely: take tips

Maintaining and using notes is crucial in exams because that is your lifeline. That is how you learn your material and memorise your subjects. Your notes are you’re your personal understanding of your books and what your teachers have taught you. You need to write them properly and read them again and again to remember your lessons.


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Go through test material thoroughly

A thorough reading of test material must be done to familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of the exam. Mock tests, old exam papers and other test material is helpful in making you used to the way the exam is designed and run. It familiarises you with types of questions, how to answer them and techniques to use.

Talk to peers and teachers: get tips

Talking to other students and to teachers is helpful. Get tips from them and helpful advice on how to crack the exam. Make study groups with other students if possible, to do a chapter or a mock exam together, it is very useful. Exchange notes, call each other, go to each other’s place, this type of interaction is healthy during exams.

Make notes while you study


Notes are your lifeline.  Make as many detailed notes as you can while you study. Keep notebooks for different subjects, divide them according to chapters and red them as much as you can. Revise your lessons with the help of your notes and not directly from the book, you will see how helpful it is. See Article: Art of Making Notes for Civil Service Exam

Review your notes the morning before the exam

Since your notes are a summary of what you have studied, revise from them the morning before the exam. Read them as your last revision before the exam.

These tips should all help you prepare a better exam and be more structured and relaxed. Exams are stressful and we all tend to overdo our preparation and not give enough time to relaxation or be organised enough in our study, which leads to more stress and poorer results. With better organisation and a better exam hygiene and a more relaxed mind we can achieve better results.