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Staying Positive During Exams

It’s the day of your exam. You know you’ve studied hard, but you can’t seem to shake the feeling that you are destined to fail. When it comes to exams, your mindset is as important (if not more important) as your studying habits. In fact, a study led by psychologist Carol Dweck shows that attitude is a better predictor of success than IQ. In other words, if you think you can do it, then you can!

So, how do you have the “right” mindset for exams? Well first off you need to prepare well– if you know you haven’t done your best in preparation, how will you be confident when it comes to your exam?

Once you know you have prepared well, the following tips will help you to fine-tune that mindset of yours!


The importance of sleep cannot be stressed enough! Dr. Stijn Baert, a researcher at Ghent University found that students who got a good nights sleep generally performed better than peers who didn’t. Students who slept at least 7 hours the night before their exam outperformed their classmates by 10%!

“But how does that improve my mindset?” you ask. It may be because when you’re sleeping, you can’t stress! When you stay up the entire night studying, you’re constantly thinking about the impending doom that is your exam, but when you’re sleeping, you’re, well……. sleeping.

Getting enough sleep is crucial for doing well in exams!

Don’t cram before exams

It rhymes so it must be true! Cramming in the few hours leading up to your exam will most likely turn your day into a stressful mess. Which does not spell good mindset! Cramming when you already know the content will not only cause you to forget many things that you’re learnt, but will also cause unnecessary stress. Just chill, okay?

If you have studied in the weeks leading up to your exam, and have brushed up on your exam writing techniques, you’ll be A okay.

Exams are a stressful time for many, but just do your best!

Don’t look at your work an hour before the exam

At this point in time, if you don’t know something, you’re not going to know it when you walk into your exam. Instead of stressing, take this time to take a break from the textbooks, eat something and think about being on time for your exam. You may feel like not looking at the content in this time will cause it to fall out of your head, but once you try it you’ll notice it has quite the opposite effect!

Know you have done your best

Up until this point in time, you have done your best to prepare for this exam. And that is all you can do- don’t stress about what you can’t control!

Good luck!!


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