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Support & Wellbeing

Exam Stress Management

By AnnabelK 17 Jan 2024

You don’t have to accept exam stress as a fact of life – there are lots of things you can do to help yourself. Here are Residence Life’s tips for relieving exam stress…

1. Take Action

Weirdly one of the biggest causes of exam stress is doing nothing. It is very common for students to avoid revision or procrastinate because the task feels insurmountable. In other words, it can feel like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Doing nothing, when you know you should be doing something, then makes you even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle! So, if you are feeling like this then you need to break the cycle. Start by doing something small - maybe revise a topic that you feel more confident with or write a practice answer - and take things from there. Remember, it is never too late to make a difference to your performance and even a small amount of preparation can help your results significantly.

2. Get organised

A big way to relieve the stress of the exam period is to get yourself organised. This can mean different things to different people. Exam and revision timetables are a really good place to start, so find out the dates of your exams and work back from there, making sure you give each aspect of your course enough preparation time and you include time for rest. Another good revision task is making a list of topics to revise using module guides and course materials, you can then use this list to organise your revision into manageable chunks.

3. Practice makes perfect

Flash cards? Fabulous. Mind maps? Marvellous. Creating your own revision materials is a brilliant way of revising content for your exams. However, sometimes it is easy to get distracted by creating notes and you can forget that it is important to leave time in your revision schedule for practice. What is great about practising exam questions is that it is a highly efficient and effective revision technique. You don’t need to have revised all the content or techniques before you attempt practicing either – dive in. Practice completing questions and papers under timed exam conditions and as well as with all your notes and allowing as much time as you need.

4. Take a Break

Your productivity will MASSIVELY increase if you allow yourself time to relax. In particular, take regular breaks during revision sessions, leave your desk for meals, and give yourself at least 90 minutes between revision and going to bed. Look out for the Residence Life Stressbusters activities and Social Sport sessions – these are great opportunities to take productive breaks that will allow you to return to your revision re-energised.

5.  Ask for help

Don’t struggle with exam stress alone, there are lots of people across the University who want to support you. Speak with your Residence Life Mentor if you want to seek help with exam stress as they can explain the different services and support available. Here you can find out what other support is available to you.

As a friendly reminder, during term all residents are expected to keep noise down between 11pm and 7am. During the exam period it's required that noise is kept to an absolute minimum 24 hours a day. We also arrange that only essential maintenance work is done during these weeks, and that it's during sociable hours. 

We want you to enjoy living and studying in your residences and so it’s important to enforce this. It’s also worth remembering that some poor students have exams on the last Saturday of the exam period, just because you might be finished doesn’t mean someone next door isn’t doing some last minute revision… please keep that in mind! If you're disturbed by noise please call Security on 0114 222 4085 or  


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