Published on Oct 25, 2022
Authored by Pfizer Medical Team
Whether you are in Year 11 or 12, TAFE, or university … exams can be stressful. Good news - it doesn’t have to be this way! People experience stress in many ways which can include feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, headaches, muscle tightness, and difficulty staying focused. Whether you are trying to improve memory or finding new methods to study, keep reading for our 5 tips for coping with exam stress.
So how do you study effectively when it is hard to concentrate for hours on end? Answer: The Pomodoro Technique - studying in 25-minute chunks, was scientifically proven to work.1
Created by Francesco Cirillo in 1999, this technique works by setting a 25-minute timer to study, after 25-minutes take a short 5-10 minute relaxation break, and repeat.1
So why does this work? You learn best when you are 100% focused on a task but this can be brain overload if you were to do this for hours. Taking micro-breaks is important to refresh your mind and prepare you for the next round of high-intensity focus time.
Saying words out loud over simply reading them silently, makes it easier for you to understand and remember. 2
Try it out by having a chat about what you are studying with your family, friend, pet, or even in front of the mirror.
Whether you tend to stress-scroll through TikTok or stress-eating your way in the kitchen, your brain can easily become distracted from your study time.
Put your phone on silent/do not disturb and turn off any notifications on your computer.
Try to stick to the 25-minute study rule and reward yourself during your 5-10 minute break.
This may sound counterintuitive, but there are several apps on your mobile/computer which can help you with keeping track of your study time by reducing your distractions. You can find them in your browser by searching apps to help with studying.
In between your study time, make sure to take breaks – your mind needs to reset and recharge!
Try to get some fresh air, soak up some vitamin D from the sun (remember to apply sun protection) exercise, and/or stretch during your breaks.
Taking small planned breaks is important to keep your mind fresh and ready to go for your next study cycle.
Sleep is your best friend!
Try to get some good night’s sleep – it has been scientifically proven that developing a healthy sleeping schedule will help you remember more information.3
Key things to remember:
If you are feeling stressed, you are not alone.
Talking to someone and finding ways to cope during exam time can help.
Remember passing an exam is only part of the story. There’s always a second chance or another way to reach your goals
You might be interested in:
-Managing Your Mental Health During A Pandemic
-Vaccine Wonders: Learn more about vaccines that can help protect you and your family
-10 Health Benefits of Music
Study Efficiently Using the Pomodoro Technique, College of New Caledonia, https://cnc.bc.ca/services/prince-george/academic-success-centre/student-support-advice/pomodoro-technique. Accessed 12 September 2022
Noah D. Forrin & Colin M. MacLeod (2018) This time it’s personal: the memory benefit of hearing oneself, Memory, 26:4, 574-579, DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2017.1383434
Memory and Sleep, Sleep Foundation, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/memory-and-sleep#:~:text=Getting%20enough%20rest%20helps%20you,store%20them%20in%20your%20brain. Accessed 12 September 2022