Your palms are sweaty and your knees can’t stop shaking while walking to the assigned seat in the examination hall. With every step, your heart pounds faster. Upon receiving the cue to begin, you gingerly flip open the test paper, only to realise that you don’t know how to answer any of the questions. Overwhelmed by a sense of nausea, you pray that this is all just a bad dream.

Sounds like a familiar scenario or recurring nightmare that happens every time you take an exam? If so, you are definitely not alone. According to a study that was conducted in 72 countries, it was found that 76% of the students surveyed, felt particularly nervous when taking a test, even if they have prepared well beforehand. When asked to elaborate on the reason why, most stated ‘being afraid to fail’ as a major cause of their increased anxiety levels during the exam season. As such, they were much more prone to experiencing panic attacks and headaches.

Aside from that, they were also more likely to engage in obsessive behaviours such as nail biting or pimple picking. Coupled with the increased probability of them suffering acne outbreaks due to stress, it makes for a destructive formula that negatively affects their self-confidence. This is because the level of cortisol in the body spikes when one is stressed and the amount of oil production increases. Thus, this then raises the chances of developing sores and inflamed acne lumps and subsequent acne scars, which can impact one’s mental health and self-esteem.

To make matters worse, exam stress isn’t something that is just limited to children or teenagers but extends to adults as well. Whether it be sitting for a work skills recertification test or master’s degree exam, it’s perfectly normal to experience pre-exam jitters. However, these jitters can sometimes escalate to a full-on panic mode, which affects your overall exam performance and harms your physical and mental well-being. And when you add stubborn breakouts, intense dark eye circles and fatigue into the mix, it’s no wonder why some people dread the arrival of exams.

Nevertheless, despite the disdain that certain individuals have towards tests, it is still an aspect of life that a lot of us have to go through. Therefore, it’s imperative that we learn how to cope with exam stress and minimise the side effects that usually come along with it. To facilitate this process, we have compiled a list of tips on how to deal with exam stress for your reference.


Your Guide To Alleviating Exam Related Stress

In order to utilise these stress-relieving tips in preparation for your exams, you have to examine the root cause behind your feelings of anxiety. For instance, are you nervous because of the pressure to do well, whether be it from your family or from yourself? Or are you scared of how the exam results will affect your future goals? Regardless of what the reason is, remember that life is more than just doing well in exams.

Also, try to surround yourself with positive vibes and influences as this can aid in making the situation seem less dire than you perceived it to be. This means temporarily keeping your distance away from any pessimistic and overly stressed acquaintances that might add to your existing stress.

Most importantly, if you ever feel like you have reached a point whereby you are simply overwhelmed and just want to give up, consider reaching out to others like your family, friends, a counsellor or psychologist and sharing your woes with them. After all, your overall health and happiness are more than just being physically fit but by having a positive mental condition as well. This is because if you are in a bad mental state, there is an increased probability of acne, dark eye rings and so on.

Other than that, there are also a few ways that can help soothe those exam jitters. Here are some:

Set Aside Time To Treat Yourself

Given that you only have a limited time to revise for your exams, taking a break might seem counterproductive. However, that’s quite the contrary. By completely devoiding yourself of any pleasures, chances are that you are bound to get burned out. Getting some time off from studying can aid in decreasing your stress levels and motivate you to cover that particular chapter within the allocated time you have set for yourself. As such, whether be it watching your favourite drama series or indulging in a charcoal face mask to help unclog those pesky oil containing pores responsible for those throbbing, pus-filled acne bumps — it’s important to do something that puts you at ease.

Don’t Skimp On Your Skincare Or Sleep Routine

While it might be tempting to not wash your face after an entire day of rigorous studying, refrain from doing so and carry out your usual skincare routine. This is because a small change in your everyday behaviour can actually be one of the causes of those painful, swollen acne breakouts. Asides from that, having insufficient sleep will not only affect your concentration levels but contribute to your hunger pangs as well, thus increasing the chances of overeating and selecting unhealthy foods that are bad for your waistline and skin.

Do Up A Detailed Topic Revision Schedule

Come up with a detailed topic revision schedule that can help you to keep track of your studying progress and for you to get a sense of control over the process. More often than not, a significant amount of stress that we experience stems from the lack of control, thus resulting in destructive behaviours like pimple popping or teeth grinding.