Staying Calm during Exams

The word exam tends to strike fear into the heart of many a student. A large portion of the school population seems to suffer from anxiety as exam time approaches. Since exams often account for about twenty or thirty percent of a final grade in a course, writing an examination under tense conditions is not optimal. Students that suffer from exam phobia need to figure out how to keep calm during an exam in order to afford them the best possible chance at success.

Remaining calm, cool, and collected during an exam may seem a trifle difficult for many students, but a few simple strategies and techniques can work wonders for the state of the student.


Being prepared is obviously a necessity when writing an exam. Students should be prepared for an exam first and foremost by their teacher, and then they need to assume accountability and study early and often for each and every examination. An effective teacher will provide each student the tools requisite for success throughout the semester. Teachers should deliver their curriculum in a manner that behooves all styles of learning; the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Study tips designed for each particular student will allow him or her to absorb the information presented throughout the course. Being prepared will give the student a feeling of confidence going into the exam, thus minimizing the nerves and anxiety, which can help with remaining calm during the exam.


Often overlooked, sleep deprivation is a major problem in today’s society. Many people are often running on empty, having sacrificed sleep in order to work or socialize. Students need their proper sleep, and parents should help their children to be successful at school by ensuring that they get as much sleep as possible. Time management skills are crucial in this respect. The night before an exam should feature a healthy eight hours of sleep, leaving enough time to relax and enjoy some time before the exam. Feeling the need to nod off will be less likely during an exam if you are well-rested, which may help you to remain calm.


Another often overlooked concern is the commonplace ritual of skipping breakfast. Breakfast has always been, and always will be the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast is essential to starting the day off right, and providing the brain with the necessary fuel for peak performance. Taking the time to sit down and eat a hearty and healthy breakfast will also allow you to keep calm during an exam. A grumbling stomach can be a major distraction when writing an exam.

Time Management

A skill that every student needs during an exam is how to manage his or her time effectively. Exams can be gruelling, but prior to beginning the test the student should read every question, and take note of how many marks each is worth. Once you have perused the exam, a quick plan of attack is required. Assign yourself enough time to adequately tackle each question, and try to stay focused. Keeping calm during an exam can help your focus, which can give you the needed time and attention for each question.

The thought of writing a final exam should not inspire anxiety nor should it be a notion that is fraught with peril. An exam is merely a measuring stick of what you have learned throughout the course. Once you learn how to remain calm and stay focused during an exam, you should find that success will follow.