Exam period can be an extremely stressful time for students and AP exams are no exception. When stress gets the better of us, it can really affect performance. But how do you conquer test nerves? Below are some strategies to remain calm and put your best foot forward during the AP exam period.
Being well-prepared is one of the best ways to keep your nerves at bay. Going into a test prepared, can give you peace of mind that you have made a solid effort to do well on the test. Well before the day of your test, you should establish a timetable for covering all the material. Revise the material thoroughly, focusing on areas you have found more challenging. If you need some motivation, seek out a study buddy. Oftentimes talking through the material with someone can be helpful to remember and cement key ideas. For further study tips read on here.
This is particularly helpful on the day of the exam. If anxiety levels increase, employ relaxation methods to reduce the stress. Take a deep breath, tense your muscles and release whilst exhaling. If you begin to panic while taking the test because you get stuck or are overwhelmed, take a mental break and visualize yourself focused and calm. It's important that you don't give up and maintain a positive attitude.
3. Eat well
This can't be said enough. I find that when stressed, my appetite plummets and I go off food. For others, stress makes them snack on salty or sugary processed foods. It's important to resist the temptation and eat healthy. Your brain works best when nourished with healthy food!
4. Stay fit
There is no better way to beat the jitters than with a good workout. Get outside, run/walk/cycle and get your blood pumping. Alternatively head to the gym or attend a dance/workout class. Exercise is a great way to clear your mind and reduce the stress.
5. Get plenty of sleep
Finally, get plenty of sleep. The body not only needs to be nourished to function fully, it also needs rest. Make sure you are clocking between 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep a night (yes, teens need lots of sleep!). Your body and mind are developing, so you need to keep up on the sleep to make sure you can perform at your best.
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