6 Ways To Calm Your (Completely Normal) Exam Nerves

Even after years of taking tests, I still get nervous. The thing is, nerves before a test never goes away. But you can find ways to deal with the stress so that the fall semester doesn’t feel so bad. I have some tricks that support me to stay calm, focused, and calm during this stressful time.

So, here are 6 ways you, too, can calm your nerves before a test

  • Take breaks.
  • Move!
  • Set attainable goals.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • See also friends, family, and pets.
  • Believe in yourself.


Take breaks

Before you tell me I don’t have time, give me a chance to explain. When revising, I sometimes forget the most important thing, which is me. I can get too busy and cranky if I don’t take breaks. So, I now take breaks so my brain and body can get the rest they need. To avoid burnout, it’s important to take a break.

I plan breaks into my daily schedule. This way, there’s a good balance between work and fun, and I don’t waste hours on YouTube by accident. This method works like a charm. You examine for forty minutes and then take a twenty-minute break. I also ensure to give myself at least three one-hour breaks: one in the morning, the afternoon, and one evening.


Revision can take a lot of time sitting still. Working out is a great way to stretch my sore muscles and calm my mind. You don’t have to pay a bunch for a gym membership to get the benefits of exercise. I think that workout videos on YouTube are a great way to get moving.

A good old-fashioned stroll with a wonderful podcast in my ears is another one of my favorite things to do. You can also get a lot of vitamin D by going for walks. If I can’t stop thinking about studying while walking, I listen to a podcast about studying. This lets me relax and get some exercise while I’m still studying.

Set attainable goals

I love making to-do lists, but when it’s time for exams, I always try to take on more than I can handle. Don’t put too much on your lists of things to do and goals. It makes you feel even more stressed. Remember that you don’t have to study for a whole week in one day. Writing down my weekly goals and then breaking them into smaller, daily tasks helps me get more done without feeling too busy.

Get enough sleep

When I’m tired, I’m always tense and cranky. It can be enticing to stay up until 3 a.m. to catch up on shows (after all, Bridgerton won’t watch itself!) But after years of taking exams, I know it’s always best to get at least seven hours of sleep the night before. So, I put off some fun things and reminded myself that summer was coming. Just worry about getting enough for now!

See also family, friends, and pets

If I force myself to study when I’m nervous, it makes me even more nervous. So, when I feel too busy, I take a break and spend time with people (and animals) I love.

Studying can be lonely, so it’s important to schedule time with friends and family. And when I don’t want to talk but still want company, my pets are there for me. Playing with my two guinea pigs, Foxy and Sky, helps me relax so I can think more clearly when I return to studying.

Believe in yourself

My internal critic makes frequent appearances during the weeks and days leading up to my exams. When I hear that critical voice in my head, I adjust the way I talk to myself. This assists me in getting back on the right path. I reassure myself that I have already traveled significantly and am close to achieving my goal.

I try to avoid saying things like, I’ll only be proud of myself if I achieve this grade, and instead say things like, I’m proud of myself so long as I do my best. People who practice yoga or meditation can better remind themselves that they can handle whatever comes their way by repeating positive affirmations to themselves.

I write my self-assurance boosting mantras on flashcards and post them around my room, such as on my computer and my mirror, so I can gaze at them whenever I need a mental pick-me-up. It is regular to feel nervous before your first test if you have never taken one.

After all, you are venturing into a region that has not been explored before. Keep in mind that the most difficult part of this process will be preparing for the tests and that after they are over, you will have many weeks to decompress and live your best life.

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