Are you preparing as well as you can for your summer exams?

Imagine yourself sat at home in your bedroom. You have an exam paper in front of you and you have as long as you need to complete it, you know no-one will ever read it, and it will not be marked. How would you feel about completing it? Relaxed, calm, maybe even completely unfazed.

Now, imaging you are sat in an exam hall with the same exam in front of you. All your fellow students are watching and you have been told you only have 30 minutes to complete it. After the exam your answers will be read out and your mark will be shared with everyone. How are you feeling now - relaxed, calm or completely panicked. “What if I get it wrong? What if I fail? What if……?”

So what’s different? It’s the same exam, the same brain, the same you. But when we are put in a situation that we feel under pressure in, we can sometimes lose our heads, affecting our ability to perform.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Managing your emotional response to a high pressure event can allow you to perform at your best, just like top athletes do in the biggest moments of their career. Learning to do this is almost as important as learning the information itself.

So what’s the secret? Here are some tips on how to prepare for the pressure of an exam:

1/ Instruct your brain to focus on the desired outcome, not the potential for failure.

2/ Imagine a situation where you performed well in the past and recreate this feeling of success.

3/ Listen to music that makes you feel good and ready to perform.

4/ Avoid thoughts of others and what they have, will or can do.

5/ Use mindfulness exercises like breathing to focus the mind.

If you are studying for exams and would like support in increasing your chances of success contact me at

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