Get the better of last-minute exam stress


By Yamkela Koti

Exam fever has kicked in across Grahamstown schools and at Rhodes University – along with the anxiety, in some cases sheer panic, that’s the result of leaving it all to late.

For those with sponge-like brains, absorbing the contents of an entire textbook within a week is not a problem. Others, feeling like it’s just too much pressure, postpone their study sessions to ‘tomorrow’.

Does seeing students walking in and out of the library, carrying text books and talking about how many chapters they have finished reading send you into a panic?

Do you wants to lock yourself in your room and cry yourself to sleep when you think how much time you’ve wasted over the past few weeks – and your exam is tomorrow?

We have three good tips from some experts:

  1. The first thing to do at this point is breathe – deeply and slowly. Deep breathing releases endorphins, helping alleviate anxiety. It also brings brain-stimulating oxygen into your system, which helps you focus. –
  2. Look through past question papers and pick the questions that you feel like you know. Revise those. Don’t learn anything new at this point – Judith Reynolds, Coordinator of the Humanities Extended Studies Programme at Rhodes University.
  3. Read the heading of every topic and the introductions and conclusions of every chapter in your textbook. – Professor Shankar Aswani Canela.
  4. If you feel like you are not prepared for your examinations at all, do not write them: rather apply for a late test, because a fail is bad for your transcript. – Babalwa Ndabangaye, final-year Pharmacy student.
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