7 Practical Tips to Stay Calm and Focused During Stressful Exams



13 June, 2024

7 Practical Tips to Stay Calm and Focused During Stressful Exams

Exam season is here. We know how this time can be hectic, and stressful for you. While you prepare for the exam, let us guide your mental and physical health. We have aligned a quick 7 tips to deal with stressful exams. So, take your notebook and pen, and write down these 7 incredible tips today and bid farewell to stressful exams.

  • 4-7-8 Breathing: Relaxing Your Nervous System

One of the most effective ways to deal with stressful exams is by making the nervous system calm down. To make your nervous system calm down you need to active your body into slow body movements and breathing exercises. Breathing slowly and deeply can help you relax your mind and body. There are many ways to make a breathing routine. One of the most effective ways of calming down anxious feelings is through the popular breathing routine called the 4-7-8 breathing routine. Let’s take a look at the steps of this routine:

4-7-8: Breathing Routine Practise Steps:

  • Sit comfortably

  • Relax your body

  • Inhale for 4 seconds

  • Hold it for 7 seconds

  • Exhale for 8 seconds

  • Repeat the routine for 3-4 minutes

This quick breathing routine can help you relax fast and it is effective to make you feel calmer. You can do this two to three times a day or even on the day before the exam. This would help you concentrate better.

  • 15 Minutes Exercise Everyday

According to Harvard Health School 2023, Exercise has a long-term effect on your memory, attention and sleep. A short 15-minute exercise can benefit you a lot. It can help you to deal with stressful exams effectively. A 15-minute exercise can improve your heart rate, and make you feel better psychologically, and fresher. It can also boost your mood and reduce anxiety, as body movements help to reduce anxiety.

You can start with easy exercise routines such as stretching, and yoga and then you can take the next 10 minutes to run or follow a cardio routine consisting of other exercises.

Keeping a 15-minute exercise routine during your daily exam season can help you sleep better. So, take out that yoga mat and start stretching, and remember do not over-exert your body.

  • Eat-Well and Healthy

It’s essential to fuel your body with the right nutrients during exam season. There is a certain list that you should avoid during exam season. Here is the ultimate list of food you need to deal with stressful exams:


  • Excessive sugar

  • Excessive Caffeine

  • Junk Food

  • Very Spicy Food

These kinds of food can affect your stomach, your sleep cycle and your mood. Moreover, it can make you feel sick and restless throughout the exam season. You can include these food items in your daily routine:


  • Fibre

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Whole Grains

These food items will keep you away from feeling bloated, reduce acidity and improve your sleep and overall gut health.

  • Sleep Properly

The most important factor in keeping you healthy during exam season is your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is one of the most effective ways to deal with stressful exams. Keeping a healthy sleep routine would help you memorise better, concentrate, stay calm and in mood regulation. Here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to good sleep hygiene:


  • Consume caffeine 2-3 hours before bedtime

  • Exercise 2 hours before bedtime

  • Excessive Screen-time

  • Force yourself to stay up

  • Eat Spicy food

  • Nap for more than 2 hours

Here is the ideal healthy sleep routine that you should maintain during exam season:


  • Sleep 7-8 Hours

  • Drink Plenty of Water every day

  • Exercise

  • Organise and Prioritise

An organised study schedule can help you manage exam stress. Create a realistic timetable that breaks down your revision into manageable chunks. Prioritise the subjects or topics that need more attention, and set aside specific times for breaks. This will help you stay organised, feel more relaxed and keep you away from feeling overwhelmed. Organising your syllabus, what you have prepared, what you need to prepare and revision can be some of the important categories while organising a list.

  • Take Short Breaks and Relax

One of the best ways to deal with stressful exams is to take a break and relax. Taking a break and relaxing can help you to improve your attention. No human brain functions to study for more than 6 hours with effective attention to learning. Take regular breaks during your study sessions—every hour or so, step away from your desk for a few minutes.

Walking for 10 minutes can also help you to relax and feel attentive.

You can use this break time to stretch, grab a snack, or do something that makes you happy. This will help you stay focused and it will not end up making you feel burntout or overwhelmed.

  • Reach Out for Help

If exam stress becomes too much, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Talk to your friends, family, or a tutor about how you’re feeling. Universities often have counselling services or support groups for students dealing with stress. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and hope, it does not make you weaker. The gesture of reaching out reflects that you really care about yourself and you would like to do something about it.

Another way to connect with others is that you can revise with others

Helpful ways to connect:

  • Revise with others

  • Let them know about the topics you find difficult

  • Provide emotional support to each other

However, be careful not to get distracted. Set specific goals for your group study sessions, and make sure everyone stays on task. Revising with others can help you feel less isolated during exam season.

Mental Health Support Applications: Quick Calm Session

If you think that you need help to calm down these are the top 6 mental health applications which can help you feel calmer and relaxed during exam seasons.

Here is a table of six apps that can help you manage stress and stay calm during exam season:

App Name Description
Headspace Guided meditation and mindfulness exercises
Calm A variety of relaxation techniques, including meditation and sleep stories
Insight Timer Meditation app with a wide range of guided sessions
Simple Habit Short guided meditations designed for busy people
Smiling Mind Meditation and mindfulness tools for managing stress
Breathe2Relax Breathing exercises to help reduce stress and anxiety

These apps offer various tools and techniques to help you stay calm and focused during exam season. Try a few and see which ones work best for you.

Logging Out

Exam season can be stressful. But do not forget that you can always connect to your friends, family, classmates or faculty. You can also seek help from the college’s counsellor. These tips would help you to deal with stressful exams. Moreover, there are many ways to study better while not hampering your mental and physical health, some of those ways are to maintain good sleep hygiene and stay active. Maintaining a journal can also help you to regulate your mood and thoughts. Don’t forget that you are more than your scores. So the next time you feel stressed, talk to your friends, go out on a walk or maybe practise breathing. It’s okay to feel a little nervous but reach out whenever you feel overwhelmed. All the best, you can do it!


Q1. How can we overcome exam stress?

There are many ways to overcome exam stress such as exercise, a good sleep routine, healthy food, and breathing exercises. You can also connect to your friends and family to share your feelings whenever you feel overwhelmed.

Q2. How to manage stress while studying?

There are various tips to manage stress while studying. Some of them are, eating well, staying active, avoiding caffeine and taking breaks.

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