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How to deal with Exam Stress


With the CBSE’s removal of the CCE pattern of examinations, students have a lot to ‘stress’ about. An exam with the full textbook as portions and controlling 70% of the total grade is enough to scare any CBSE student. One thing always comes with exams and that is stress. However exam stress is common and can be easily managed.

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There are many causes for stress in students. In fact recent statistics have shown that 66% of students are under some form of stress. One of the major reasons for this is the advent of exams. Exams are the chief bug bearers of a student’s life. Students get stressed out and it has an adverse effect on their performance in their exams.

  • Societal Pressures: One of the many reasons students suffer from exam stress is because of parental and societal pressure. Almost everyone you’ll meet will tell you to study hard and do well, because it’s 10th grade. This puts unnecessary pressure on students. Students get stressed by studying continuously trying to live up to the expectations of their family and society. Best way to deal with this is to take it in your stride and do your best not to let it affect you. Create your own goals and try to hit them the best you can.

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  • Regular Breaks: Another way to deal with stress is by taking regular breaks. The brain is not a machine. It needs rest. Continuous study helps no one. Taking a break does more help than harm. 15 minutes of relaxation can do wonders. When you study continuously, the brain becomes incapable of comprehending what you are trying to study. This leads to frustration and a rise in stress levels. Taking a break helps reset the mind allowing you to reduce stress and study for longer


  • Physical Exercise: Playing a sport is another way of alleviating stress. Sports keeps you fit and helps keep the mind sharp, once you get in the flow, all worries are forgotten. A good one hour of any physical activity is a great help and can leave the mind refreshed for another round of studying.

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  • Reading: In case sports isn’t your thing, reading is another great way to bust stress. During a long break or after studies, reading a book of your choice is an excellent idea. Books often lead you to another world where you get engrossed in the lives of the characters, leaving all worldly thoughts behind, including thoughts about exams and studies. While reading your stress slowly dissipates. Reading also has the double benefit of improving your vocabulary.

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  • Have a Hobby: Indulging in a hobby of your choice also works. Painting, drawing, playing an instrument etc. All of these take your attention away from studies and upcoming exams. Drawing and painting is very soothing and refreshes the brain.

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  • Avoiding All-Nighters: A bad habit many students have is pulling an ‘all-nighter’ to complete portions. This is a terrible idea. All-nighters do more harm than good. Most people forget they learn during an all-nighter. In fact it is during sleep that short term memory gets converted to long term memory, i.e. sleep helps you retain retain what knowledge you acquired during studies. However when students begin to pull ‘all-nighters’ they begin to forget what they’ve learnt, which again leads to stress, which has a terrible effect on exam performance.


  • Electronics are a Hazard: While taking a short break in between studies is encouraged. Using electronics and social media during these breaks is a bad idea. With electronics, a 15 minute break can become an hour.

Exam stress affects all students but it’s nothing to worry about. There may be other ways of reducing stress that are more comfortable for you, do what you feel is right for your situation. Following these tips will help you alleviate stress. Be sure to balance your stress busting activities with your studies and not let one grow greater than the other.

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About the Author

Keval Anekar is a 16 year old student. He aspires to study abroad. He writes  to share what he has learnt with confused students to be of some help. He is a student at Ivy Aspire