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How to Overcome Exam Fear: 25 Tips for Students


Exams are often considered a ‘fear’ factor among children. Students of all age groups do undergo exam anxiety and have ‘exam phobia’ when it’s around the corner. Some do take it easy while some cannot.

The extent of exam stress is too much that drives them to take extreme measures. The fear of exams is more before the exams causing them to under perform on that day.

It’s worse when the students have older brothers or sisters who have performed well and they are expected to keep up to those standards.

how overcome exam fear

Tips to Get Rid of Exam Fear:

Exam fear is one of the common thing which you can find in every student who is going to attend exams. Though this is not very unusual but can have a negative effect when you write your exam. Some of the main reasons are stress and expectations from parents and teachers.

Most of such cases can be found in students who will be attending board examinations. If students encounter exam fear or stress, they will not be able to perform well. Fear usually leads to stress, thus developing anxiety and depression in students. This ultimately results in performing poorly in exams.

The best solution for this issue is that the students need to maintain a calm and peaceful mind. And it is the responsibility of parents and teachers to make it possible. Along with it, the students should prepare well for exams without having any fear or anxiety.

Best tips to overcome Exam stress and anxiety:

Mentioned here are a few things that students need to follow to overcome exam fear or any kind of stress, the anxiety they are having during the examination time. For better understanding, we have split it into 2 sections

1. Things to do before the exam
2. Things to do during the exam


  • Stay positive
  • Preparation is the primary key that helps
  • Never compare yourself with other students
  • Work smarter rather than work harder
  • Meditate to keep your mind calm and peaceful
  • Revise all the topics you have studied
  • Eat well
  • Be physically fit
  • Have enough sleep


  • Wake up and start early for your day
  • Be focused
  • Understand the question well and answer peacefully
  • Avoid last-minute preparation and hurry

Tips to Overcome Exam Fear and Test Anxiety:

The following mentioned are few ways for overcoming fear and to reduce anxiety.

1. Start revising early:

Students who start revising their portion early find that they can manage to answer without any stress or exam pressure. The sooner you start the better. As practice makes a better understanding and recollection, students are often advised to revise early. It will avoid panic at the last moment. Preparing well ahead of the exam will allow you to focus on difficult topics so that you allocate time for it also.

2. Your own timetable:

As a student, you are well aware of the subjects that you need to work more on. It’s not by the grades but by the length of material or depth of the contents that you need to know about. To prepare for it, you need to create your own timetable for all the 7 days of the week. The timetable should be realistic that you abide by it.

3. Chart out:

You know the number of chapters and which one is difficult to prepare. Make a rough sketch of the units or chapters that you need to prepare. Then align those in the sequence of priority against the days of the week or the timetable you have set. You can amend the timetable or modify it to suit your needs.

4. Mix of subjects:

While making a timetable or charting out, its best to study one subject in the morning and another subject in the evening. Studying the same subject will make you feel bored or mind dull. Take a mix of two subjects and try out. You will surely feel the urge to complete the topics that you intend to.

5. Target for the day:

Without aim, there is no way that you will achieve anything in life. Even fixing a target for the day is crucial. As you would have noted down the chapters or topics you need to revise, break down these chapters as against the days.

Example: Feb.13 –

9.00 to 12.00 : History- Chapter 15,16
2.30 to 5.30 : English – Chapter 5,6
6.00 to 8.00 : Geography – Chapter 11
9.00 to 12.00 : Maths – Chapter 12,13

So having a target for each day, you are sure to revise well before the exam. Once you start making such charts you would be habituated to make charts for any assignments.

6. Allocate time for breaks:

Making a timetable is not an easy task. While making, do make time for breaks in between. You might get up for your bath or using the washroom, you need to wash your clothes, you need to clean the room, etc. All these can be considered a break. Then include your dinner, lunch, breakfast as well. Even listening to music at an interval of 3 or 4 hours is not bad. Breaks bring back enthusiasm while studying.

7. Sleep well:

Students often study without taking rest. Sleeping during the afternoons are often advised to give rest to your brain and eyes. You would feel that you are fresh after that break of sleeping. Don’t try to be nocturnal. Students are advised to take a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep during the night. You can then cope up with the study the next day.

8. Taking Notes:

Students who take short notes while studying find it useful while revising during the exam time. Notes can be in the form of brief one or bullet points. Some students write in pictured format denoted with a different symbol to recollect during exams. Such notes come in handy. This can be followed when you find the subject to be difficult to study.

9. Write legibly:

If you start your preparations early then you would have time for writing down neatly. Students often tend to think that making notes is just to copy-paste activity. It is not so. The notes are to be written legible on what you have understood of the topic. Don’t scribble it out. You are going to refer for an exam, later on, so make sensible notes.

10. Using highlighters:

Students often use to underline in the books to make note of important points. By using highlighters it will help the student to know which important note to be remembered were. Using keywords is also useful to remember the importance of the topic that is being revised.

11. Headings and subheadings:

While making notes, it is useful to separate the topics with heading and subheadings below it. It not only makes the points to be separated out but helps the student to remember what the main subjects under it were.

12. Using a flow chart:

Students can adapt the method of drawing flowchart to remember the various steps involved. They need to judge where they can take notes depicting flowcharts. Such flowcharts are quite easy to remember while revising. It is said that the mind can remember anything that is in the form of pictures or flowcharts.

13. Organize your notes:

Once you have started preparations with your subjects, try to organize separate files for each subject. Keeping separators for all your notes will be useful while revising them. It is imperative to mention chapter name at the top while page numbers at the bottom of each page so that you are not mixing them up or it doesn’t get misplaced. Arranging all test papers, essays, assignments related to a subject in one folder will be easier to revise when studying.

14. Decide when to study:

If you are able to concentrate in the morning better than at night then allocate hard subjects in the morning. Or your house is quiet during the morning, then you can allocate those subjects. If you are a person who loves to study after evening hours then allocate the study time after that and keep easier subjects in the morning.

15. Ask for help:

When you feel you need help with any subject or you feel stressed out ask your parents or friends or teachers for help. Or you feel you cannot schedule your study, ask your parents for guidance. If one of your parent is good at scheduling and guiding you then you are sure to get help all the way till exam.

16. Share with someone:

Sometimes, no matter how much-revised or how much you are thorough with your subjects the exam fear is still lingering on inside. It is better to share out your feelings with a mentor or your parent. Explaining about the stress and exam tension will make you understand what the real cause is for it. After that, you would be sure to dissipate the fear which will not come up again.

17. Answer previous papers:

Revising the topics is always not complete without answering the previous year’s questions. Try to get previous years’ papers through peers or teachers or even the internet. It helps to know where you stand and how much is your preparation. You are advised to answer those papers only after completing all the chapters. Answer them without referring your books and try to be true to yourself.

18. Don’t compare with your friends:

You must understand that everyone in the school or college are not same. Everyone has different ways to study and understand the subject. So even revising a subject is different for each one of you. Never make a comparison on the subjects you have done with your friend. Some have the habit of calling their friend and ask how are they preparing and how much he/she has covered.

19. Talk it out:

Students of any age group must be encouraged to talk it out to their mentors or parents. The parents need to spend some time with their children to know what is really disturbing their minds. By talking it out with them they are sure to ease out their fear. Also, they should be encouraged to discuss every day what they have done and what have they completed, whether they were able to complete their task and if not why. These small discussions at the end of the day will motivate them to work harder the next day.

20. Visualize positivity:

Whenever you are preparing for exams visualize that you will pass the exam. Never allow the thought of failure to ruin your exam preparation. The mere thought about failure or fear about it invites stress to overcome you. During that period of stress, you will not be able to complete your studies. Hence, feel that you will pass by all the work you have put through.

21. Physically active:

Studying throughout the day is sure to cause you more anxiety of completing the portions. Taking time out to play games which you like is a stress buster. There are various options for such stress busters. Riding your bicycle for a short distance, going for a short walk, going to the gym, doing gardening, doing any other house chores are some sort of activities that will de-stress and refresh your mind.

22. Have a balanced meal:

Students often tend to skip a meal or breakfast during exam time. It’s a grave mistake that they make. Skipping doesn’t solve your problem. In fact, skipping meals is going to deprive your brain of vital nutrients. Hence, you need to take proper intake of proteins and carbohydrates. Intake of essential nutrients helps you to focus well.

23. Practise meditation:

In spite of all the work, if you still seem that you cannot overcome fear and anxiety, then try out meditation in the early morning. Meditation would bring your mind to focus. It would also remove unwanted thoughts from your mind. Ask for some guidance on facts about it. Or you could just squat on the floor, close your eyes and keep your face facing upwards. Your palms should be open kept on lap facing upwards. Perform this for 10 to 15 minutes in a day early morning.

24. Stretching:

While a student is studying, they often sit for hours on their desk or chair. Getting up once in a while is advisable. Also stretching your muscles after 2 or 3 hours refreshes you. Your neck, your hands and legs need a bit of stretch once in 3 hours. Or it would cause discomfort not allowing you to concentrate. This way you lose track and in due course of time feel dull.

25. Try for group study:

Sometimes, peers or people of the same thinking like to get together to study. You could try out this option to stay connected with your buddies. Group study helps one to analyze what is important or what you had overlooked. By staying focussed on the subject, revising with your friends could make you to help them or they help you to solve a problem that you hadn’t known.

How to Overcome Exam Stress:

Stress is the clear result of excess pressure and anxiety that the person undergoes by almost any means. Excess of stress can lead to severe health problems like panic attacks, headaches, insomnia etc.

Saying this does not mean that stress is completely destructive. Even stress comprises of few advantages but the one thing that should be taken care of is, the amount of stress should be within limits, i.e permissible.

Smaller bits of stress makes your mind work faster and sharper thus helping you do your work more smartly. But it is very important to manage it in a very efficient way. Some of the best ways one needs to follow to overcome exam fear or stress are,

  • Eat Right
  • Avoid Caffeine.
  • Play with your pet at breaks
  • Practice Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Green Therapy (Nature)
  • Bridging objects

As every student is aware that the exam dates are usually given ahead of time, it’s the responsibility of the student to prepare well in advance for the papers. It’s even better if they schedule a specific timetable to revise them and make notes.

Making an attempt to revise during the days closer to exams will only cause panic and fear. If you still feel there is something bothering your mind not allowing you to study, seek help from your parents or teachers. They are the best counselors.

Last but not least, staying positive about the exams is the foremost factor for any student appearing for the exam. Saying to oneself that you will pass the exam will bring positive results.