Tackling Exam-Anxiety: How Can Students Be Stress-free?

Exam stress is nothing new to a typical student-life. The anxiety that comes with completing an important paper within a given time limit is unimaginable, especially if it’s an important national exam like the O levels or A levels. Home tutors play an important role in teaching students how to cope with exam stress and that includes a variety of methods and strategies.

exam stress
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So, here are some ways students can free themselves from exam-stress!


Students must understand their own ability and set realistic goals for themselves. Tuition teachers make it a point to remind their students to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses and set expectations accordingly.

Many students make the mistake of overestimating themselves and think that they can score much higher than they actually can. This high expectation will cause unnecessary stress while preparing for examinations, during the examinations and even after them, before receiving results.

high expectations
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Unreasonably high expectations will also result in disappointment after receiving results. Moreover, students must understand that they should set their own final goals, not their parents or their peers. If the people around students try to set certain standards for them, students should try their best to ignore them and focus on themselves.


Secondly, most of the stress related to examinations is the stress involved in studying before examinations. Students may have to prepare for more than half a dozen examinations in only a few weeks and studying such a large amount of content can easily become very stressful.

preparation is the key
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Students can help to reduce this stress for themselves by being well prepared for examinations many weeks in advance. They should know all of their content beforehand and use their last couple of weeks as revision time instead.

Although this means that their free time would have to be sacrificed throughout their semester, the stress that they save during their crunch period before examinations is worth it.  


Having a caring companion can help greatly to reduce the burden of the problem and reduce the stress associated with it. This also applies to students who are struggling with stress before their examinations.

student teacher relationship
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They can reduce their stress by spending some time ranting to their parents or friends. Students can share their problems to other students who may be going through a very similar situation. This will allow them to provide motivation for each other and pull through their tough times. It is important for students to not go through it alone and always try to seek help no matter how trivial their problem may seem.


Students need to ensure that the environment that they study in does not exacerbate the stress that they already feel while studying. Firstly, their study environment should not have loud distracting noises so that they are able to concentrate on what they are studying.

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They can choose to study in their house, in a library or even hawker centres and restaurants if they like a bit of background noise while studying. Secondly, their place of study must be tidy and neat. Some students may proudly say that they are messy and prefer studying in messy conditions but subconsciously, the messy background will only end up distracting them.


Taking a break is just as important as studying to help make learning and revision more effective. However, taking breaks is not as easy as it seems. Students end up making the mistake of taking too little or too many breaks for too long or too short. It is important to plan out when and how long to take breaks so as to prevent both overworking and procrastination.

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During breaks, students should also try to do physical activities and expose themselves to sunlight instead of using their gadgets. Doing so will help them relax their minds and their body.


Once students learn how to reduce their stress before examinations, they must also be prepared to be calm during their examinations. They need to know that no matter how difficult or easy the paper may be, they have put in their all to prepare for it and accept whatever the outcome is.

If students panic while answering a question, they should learn to take a few deep breaths and think calmly. If they still are unable to solve it, they should skip it and come back to it later. Sometimes, students magically will be able to solve the question the second time around.

In the end, students must also understand that their education should be focused more on progression than perfection!