Tips to Cope with Stress & Anxiety During Exams


“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey


Feeling anxious? Worrying a lot about your future? Engulfed with stress? Exam season can be full of such mixed emotions with stress and anxiety at their peak. Worry not! You are not alone, we all have been there. It is normal to feel this way, as exams may put pressure on you to prove yourself to your teachers, parents, and everyone who has put their trust in you.

Many students feel stressed when exams are around the corner, they prioritise their studies over everything. According to a survey published in The Times of India, 82% of students were stressed that too one week before their exams. This not only affects the mind but also causes heart rate fluctuation which is dangerous.

Some might say that a little bit of stress will help you stay focused but, you never know when you cross the line. When stress increases it impacts your concentration, your creativity, and your ability to perform well. And to cope with stress, you need to know everything about it.

So in this blog, we have covered every topic including types of stress, causes, coping mechanisms, etc.

So, don’t wait, and dive straight into it!

How Stress Takes a Toll on Your Body and Mind during Exams?

Exams evaluate more than mere knowledge, they also measure mental stamina, endurance, and resilience. When deadlines approach and the pressure increases, it’s natural to feel like you are sinking in worry and tension.

But when we are under this kind of stress, what specifically happens to our minds and bodies?

Let’s explore how stress impacts us throughout:

1. The Body’s Response to Stress

Our bodies go into overtime during stressful situations, such as an approaching due date or a challenging exam, provoking the reaction of fight or flight. This evolutionary response system helps us react to risks by speeding up our heartbeat, compressing our blood vessels, and releasing stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol.

Prolonged stress exposure can harm our physical health, even though this response might be favourable in the short term by keeping us focused and awake. Several health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive disorders, and impaired immune function, have been linked to chronic stress.

Where little stress might be inspiring, excessive stress can have detrimental effects on our health.

2. The Mind Under Pressure

Stress impacts not just our physical health but also the way we feel. Stress may trigger our minds to become overloaded, which can result in a variety of emotional and cognitive problems. Cognitive issues, memory issues, impatience, mood swings, and hopelessness or exhaustion are a few of these.

Exam-bound students may find these symptoms very imprisoning. While problems with memory might make it challenging to remember essential information during the exam itself, concentration issues can make it tough to stay focused on studying.

Mastering the Untamed: Proven Strategies to Cope with Stress & Anxiety

Until now, we have studied everything about stress & anxiety. We have also seen how harmful it is to our mental as well as physical health. Now, let’s find out the ways to cope with exam stress.

Physical Activity

  • When we engage in physical activity, it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin which change our mood, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep.
  • It also helps in reducing stress hormone levels, including Cortisol, which in turn helps in mind relaxation and induces a feeling of well-being.
  • Engaging in physical activities helps people feel good about themselves because they gain control over their bodies and accomplish their fitness goals.
  • Physical activities often involve social interactions that help omit feelings of isolation, and loneliness, and improve mental health in general.

Eat Healthy

  • Eating a nutritious well-balanced diet fills your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the brain needs to function at its optimal level.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in nuts, seeds, and seafood, are one of the nutrients that are particularly important for a healthy mind because they enhance neurotransmitter activity and mood control.

Sleep Cycle

  • Maintaining a sound sleep cycle is crucial for improving mental health because it gives the mind and body the time to relax, repair, and recover.
  • Frequent mood swings are also impacted positively by good sleep because it allows the brain to process emotions, organise memories, and eliminate toxins.

Mindfulness & Relaxation Activities

  • Regular use of these methods helps in the development of consciousness and the ability to examine one’s thoughts and feelings.
  • With the help of deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation our body starts relaxing. This helps in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension.

Cognitive Restructuring

  • Cognitive Restructuring is a therapeutic strategy that is frequently employed in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to improve mental health by addressing and facing negative thoughts.
  • Through this, people can learn to recognise and question unreasonable or harmful thoughts, as well as switch them with a more reasonable, realistic, and balanced perspective.

Beat Stress Before It Starts

If you are a student and facing any sort of stress, you can follow the below-mentioned ways to overcome your stress at an early stage:

  • Music Therapy: Listening to soft music helps improve your mood, and brings positivity to the surroundings.
  • Plan & Prioritise: Create a detailed study plan, which results in decluttering your mind and giving you clarity about the priority areas of your academic courses. It makes it easy to walk on an already-designed path.
  • Make Daily Targets: When you finish your daily checklists, it will boost your mood and give you a sense of achievement and fulfilment.
  • Take Breaks: It becomes very overwhelming at the end moment when we study for exams, therefore, it is important to take regular breaks which helps in improving productivity and better brain functioning.
  • Give Daily Mocks: Take mock tests daily to understand the exam pattern, thereby boosting your confidence.


In conclusion, prioritising self-care and adopting healthy coping mechanisms are key to navigating the challenges of exam stress and anxiety. By implementing these strategies, you can cultivate mental well-being, and optimise your performance during this important period.


The author John

John Adams: John, a former college admissions officer, provides insights into the college admissions process, application tips, and advice for prospective students.