Tips To Relax And Keep Calm Before Going Into An Exam Hall
Students Taking Biology Test
Pupils at King Edward VI School in Handsworth start their GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) examination in Biology.

Tips To Relax And Keep Calm Before Going Into An Exam Hall

Cicely McFarlane May 22, 2022

As you step into an exam hall, or patiently yet nervously wait outside for the exam to begin, your brain could be flooded with thoughts of failure as the stress levels increase.

Trying to keep calm is a hard reality to achieve, as you feel that all the work and effort might not pay off as you had hoped.

Everyone will be in the same boat as you, and even if people do not show it – stress levels increase in those last few moments before the exam, no matter who you are. So here are some tips and tricks to try and keep your mind calm, and what to do before an exam.

Quiet does help:

Although you may be with your coursemates or some of your closest friends, sometimes a bit of quiet can help ease your mind. Talking about everyday life, or what you think is going to be on the exam, can make you feel intimidated and overwhelmed that you do not know as much as the person you’re talking to.

Sometimes all you need is a sit-down and to be alone with your thoughts to put into perspective that an exam is just that, an exam.

Young multi-ethnic female university students writing on papers at desks during exams in community college classroom

Although it may be important, whatever the result is it’s not the end of the world, and if you have tried your hardest you should be proud of yourself whatever the outcome may be.

This does not mean you have to ignore people, just simply find a quiet space, and read over some notes if you wish, but do not overwhelm yourself.  Just try to keep your breathing regular and your mind on track.

Breathing exercises:

Taking some repeated deep breaths can help calm your nerves and slow your heart rate down. In for 7 and out for 11 is a go-to tip that has helped many people stay grounded before an exam.

Try not to let your breath get out of control – it does find a quiet place to sit down, focus on your breathing, and start to count.

This is a form of mindfulness and can reset your breathing, heart rate, and racing mind.

Don’t take all the notes with you:

Turning up to an exam with a notebook full of notes may not be the best course of action to take. Taking some flashcards to go over slowly can be helpful, but do not try to read everything that you have written out or learnt in the last five minutes.

This will only increase your stress levels and then send you into a spiral of thinking that you have forgotten everything.

Slowly going over a few notes will help, but if not sitting quietly, making sure you have water for the exam, focusing on your breathing, and then trying your very best is all that you can do.

Good Luck

Good luck to anyone who is reading this that is about to complete an exam. Try your hardest and remember that there are always other options if you do not get the results that you need. 

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Cicely McFarlane is a 23-year-old Graduate from Cardiff University. She has an undergraduate degree in History, and has just completed her master’s in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Whilst studying, she contributed to the Student Newspaper, as well as the student magazine named Quench. This fuelled her passion for writing further and enjoys reviews on the latest trends and TV shows, as well as commenting on important issues that occur today. She is a content writer for Freshered Magazine for over a year where she specifically tailors and creates articles for the Freshered audience. She is excited to grow as a journalist as she continues to expand her topics and horizons.