Managing exams

Stay positive ahead of your exams

From regular breaks to eating healthy food, there are plenty of simple things that you can do to make sure you are in the best possible frame of mind to tackle your exams. 

There are a range of simple tips that you can follow to help you stay calm and maximise the effectiveness of your revision time. 

A little stress can be a good thing: It can be the motivational push that we need to get things done. However, sometimes dealing with stress (especially during exam time) can be difficult. The Counselling Service runs a number of workshops throughout the year which can support you through busy periods.


Here are ten tips that we have put together which could help you: 

  1. Prioritise your workload - set realistic goals.
  2. Be organised and plan - do a timetable and break your revision down into small chunks. This revision timetable might help.
  3. Find a good place to study - whatever works for you. Make sure you can focus, it's well-lit and comfortable.
  4. Take regular breaks - get up and walk around, include regular breaks in your revision plan.
  5. Try not to eat too much junk food, avoid alcohol and additional caffeine - eat healthy food that fuels your brain. Apples, bananas, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocados, milk, cheese and eggs can help. Remember too much caffeine can make you feel anxious and disturb your sleep.  
  6. Try different study techniques or studying with friends - revising with friends can help you study more effectively. There are also emotional benefits to social support.
  7. Exercise and get plenty of sleep. Exercise will make you more alert and positive. Get plenty of sleep, whatever is enough for you.
  8. Take time out to do things you enjoy and treat yourself after an exam before you start to revise for the next one.
  9. Believe in yourself and don’t worry excessively.
  10. Talk to someone if you are feeling stressed - talk to friends, family or your personal tutor about how you are feeling. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to seek professional help and support.

We have also produced this practical exam toolkit to support you through this challenging time.

Useful links


The University of Nottingham

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