Here is an infographic that was provided by Study Medicine Europe that I really like. It talks quite a bit about effective ways to study. If you scroll past the infographic, there is a pretty detailed outline they provided of the infographic. I don’t agree with some of the things in this infographic but overall, they are pretty legitimate tips for studying smart and doing well in your classes.
Again, the following is an outline of the infographic provided by them.
The Impact of Exam Anxiety on Student Health
1 in 2 students say they have skipped meals.
2 in 3 students say they have trouble sleeping.
1 in 7 students say they have drank alcohol as a way of dealing with exam anxiety.
Almost 2 in 3 students say they have never received any support in dealing with exams.
Snapshot on UK School Students
According to the Under Pressure ChildLine Review, published in 2015 by ChildLine UK, a private & confidential service for children & young people under 19:
There has been a 200% increase in the number of young people in the UK actively seeking counselling specifically due to exam stress.
More than 87,500 visits to ChildLine’s webpage relates to exam stress.
The charity carried out 35,500 counselling sessions mentioning school and education problems between 2013 and 2014.
Major themes for exam stress included:
1. Not wanting to disappoint their parents.
2. Fear of failure.
3. General pressures linked to academic achievement.
It was also found that exam stress affected young people’s ability to sleep and triggered anxiety attacks, depression, tearfulness and eating disorders.
US University Student Survey Results
An exam stress survey of more than 2000 undergraduate students in their final year attending US universities was published in 2015. It was conducted by Stop Procrastinating, an evidence-based blog that undertakes independent research and found that:
64% are worried that stress / anxiety is affecting their performance which will result in lower grades than they hoped for.
45% blame exam stress on the overwhelming significance of their final exams.
35% blame exam stress on the difficult job market for young people and their worries around job opportunities.
37% say they suffer from loneliness & over ½ of these say that they are too nervous of their exam performance to spend time on socialising.
But 75% say they had procrastinated too much in the lead up to their exams wasting between 3 & 4 hours per day.
Very worryingly, 16% admitted to using performance enhancing drugs to deal with their worries over performance.
Causes of and Coping with Exam Stress
Top 5 Causes of Exam Anxiety
1. Not getting into university based on poor exam results. (63%)
2. Fears about sitting the actual exam. (62%)
3. Pressure from parents to perform well. (59%)
4. Not doing as well as friends. (56%)
5. Not getting a good job afterwards. (53%)
4 Ways Students Cope with Exam Anxiety
1. Talking to friends. (53%)
2. Talking to family. (29%)
3. Exercise. (29%)
4. Talking to an educator. (17%)
Top Tips to Alleviate Exam Stress By Taking Care of Your Mental/Physical Health
Do gentle exercises such as taking a quick walk, cycling, swimming, or yoga.
Gentle exercise increases blood flow to the brain, assists with lowering anxiety levels and reduces physical tension that can cause aches and pains.
Deep breathing, getting 8 hours of sleep per night & meditation all help maintain your emotional health.
Fuel Your Brain And Avoid Trigger Foods
Eat lean protein e.g. chicken, fish & eggs, with carbohydrates that release their energy slowly e.g. oats, brown rice and green vegetables.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine & nicotine. They stimulate the central nervous system and heighten your emotions, leading to greater anxiety.
If you need to choose something sweet, choose dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa. It helps fight cortisol, the stress hormone, has a relaxing effect on your body and releases endorphins, a natural stress fighter.
Get Organised and Keep Your Perspective
Create a personal study plan & take it day-by-day. Do this by breaking your revision down into small manageable chunks.
Picture your exams as a time-bound project. If your exams are 30 days away, then set that as your ‘30-day-challenge’ which has a definite end point.
Take regular breaks from studying & move away from your desk when you are on a break. Psychologists say we can only really concentrate in full for between 30 to 45 minutes.