Exams and studying for exams can be a really stressful period in your life.
To help reduce stress and ensure that you're as organised as you
can be, learn more about planning and looking after yourself and
about staying focused in order to be as ready for the exam as you
Take the time to plan
- Prepare a study plan and goals for each day / week. Make sure
it's balanced with other important things in your life - that way
it will be easier to stick to.
- Talk to your employers early to let them know you need to limit
your shifts / hours while studying.
- Create a study space that is comfortable, quiet, well lit,
organised, and has no distractions nearby, such as a TV, phone,
people talking, etc.
- Make sure you have everything you need for each study session
as this helps to feel more confident and organised.
Look after yourself
- Self care is especially important when you have a big demand in
your life - that way you have the energy to commit to what you need
- Build activities you enjoy and that bring your stress levels
down into your study plan, such as sport, spending time with
friends, internet, etc.
- Don't get hungry before or while studying. Grab nutritional
snacks that keep you going, such as fruit/nuts/dairy, etc.
- Remember to get some exercise every day as this helps you to
keep focused and energetic.
Rest when you need to
- Work out what times of day you have the most energy and plan to
- Don't study more than 40-60 mins without a short break. Even a
5 minute break will help. A glass of water helps too!
- When you have a break do something physical or fun, such as go
for a short run or play with a pet.
- Try to keep your focus on school and exams rather than other
stuff happening in your life; you don't need this extra worry
around relationships, friendships etc. right now.
- Relaxation is important, especially before bed, to slow the
brain activity down. Try some slow, deep breathing, a shower or a
bath, herbal tea etc.
- Learn more about sleeping well
- Say "no" to parties during the weeks close to the exams. This
will help to keep you refreshed and energised.
- When studying, switch your phone and email off to stop the
Try to keep a focus on your health and wellbeing by not using
things like drugs or alcohol; they can make it much harder to
Ask for help:
- Stay at school until your last day so you don't miss any
important info about exams, or fun events with your
- Practice writing essays and show your teachers for feedback for
- Ask teachers the best way to study for each subject; they have
many years experience they can share with you.
- Some teachers are happy to be contacted during the time leading
up to the exams. Find out which ones you can contact and make use
of this if you need to.
- If you have trouble approaching your own teacher for advice,
talk to one of the other ones who teach the same subject.
- Group study sessions with classmates can be a helpful and
entertaining way of studying, but keep your focus on what you want
to achieve with these sessions.
- Talk about what you are studying with family members and
friends as this helps to retain the info more, especially names and
- Read/ write everything three times as this also helps to commit
the info to memory.
- Use your trial exam results to focus in on what you need
- Use previous exam papers to get a feel for what to expect.
- Ask friends what they are doing that is helping with their
study or friends who did it last year.
- You need to study within 24 hours of the exam on that subject
to retain more info.
- Write things in coloured texta that you have trouble
remembering (such as names and dates) and blu-tak to your toilet
wall/door. Sounds funny, but it really works!
Day of the exam
- Do your usual routine, for example, have what you normally eat
- Take some water and a healthy snack (if allowed) to the
If the stress is getting to you it will prevent you from
studying effectively and confidently - so ask for help from
headspace, a counsellor,
professional, or help line.
For more information, and to find out how to get help, visit the
help section of this website