Dealing with exam stress

Dealing with exam stress


College and university students are in the midst of exams right now, and the stress of studying can be overwhelming.

So we’re talking about the best way to cope with that particular kind of stress.

It’s tough. especially when you feel pressure to excel in your classes. but if you’re all about the books, it could backfire. The key to surviving the stress of exams is balance.

In the month of December, it’s a common concern among students.

David Rios, 4th year student: “I think that’s my biggest stress. Not being able to get the GPA I want or make the grade I want.”

So understandably, this is a view they get used to.

But on this day, a group at McMaster set their sights on this instead.

They took an hour out of their study schedule to get some exercise and fresh air.

Rafe Maqsood, first year student: “I feel I can concentrate better. Instead of just eating junk food and studying at the same time.”

The hike is one of a number of stress busters hosted by the McMaster Students Union to help students cope during exam period.

They’re also handing out snacks and extending gym hours to ensure everyone maintains balance.

Laura Jamieson, Coordinator, Student Health Education Centre: “Going to spend some time outside, really just taking a break from the books. Eating well. Taking time to do that and make that a priority.”

Counsellor Peter Young with Mohawk College is preaching balance to his students as well: “Plan out and build kind of positive experiences in there, even if they’re brief to balance out the studying itself. So it’s okay to do a bit of socializing. It’s okay to get a good night’s sleep.”

Young cautions that cramming without relief can spike your stress levels, and make it harder to retain what you’re reading.

Once you get into the exam room, stress levels can spike again. Young says, if you’re getting anxious, look away from your test, focus on a spot on the wall, count backwards from ten and breathe deeply. Then try to go back and answer an easy question.