The education experts at leading learning platform - Quizlet - share their tips and insights to help students deal with exam stress and revision ahead of the exam season.

Help your child feel less pressured during the exam period / Photo credit: Alamy
Help your child feel less pressured during the exam period / Photo credit: Alamy

Identify your learning style

Know what type of approach helps you learn, perhaps you feel like you pick up ideas and techniques better in discussion sessions or hands-on experiments in class or maybe things really sink in when you do quizzes or write essays. Whatever your particular learning style, it’s important to make use of that approach when revising.

Principal learning styles

Kinaesthetic (or physical) - you pick up new skills and understanding from being hands-on. You probably enjoy experiments in the science lab, making things, and playing musical instruments.

Visual - you understand new things when you can see them. You might count on your fingers or draw diagrams and mind maps so that you can lay out all of the facts in front of you.

Aural - you learn through listening, often using sound and music.

Verbal - you prefer to learn using words, either through speech or writing.

You might be a mix of the above. Try out different types of activities and stick to what works for you.

Prepare and organise

Psychologists often talk about “schemata” – mental maps, a pattern of thought that organise information and the relationship among them, and these mental shortcuts help us to better understand and absorb information more easily, says in-house psychologist, Niels Eek, at the mental health and personal development app Remente ( He continues, lists help us easily scan what needs to be done and digest information in bite-size instead of all at once, and finally see the result of what has been done or not which can relieve anxiety.

Eek says that we should try to break tasks down into small and manageable components, instead of a long to-do list. For example, instead of saying ‘complete assignment’, try to break this down into smaller elements that you can allocate a set amount of time to, before ticking off your list. This will help you concentrate on the task at hand and help prevent procrastination and uncompleted task, which might lead to you feeling more stress and anxiety, and more in control of your revision progress.

Use interactive study aid

Mixing up the revision methods really helps to avoid textbook burnout. If you’re just staring at your Spanish verb conjugations on the page hour after hour, you’ll probably find that your brain goes a little verb-blind. Add variety and interaction with online study activities to keep you engaged with the material. Ahead of a language exam, the Babbel app ( can polish up your conversation skills before an oral language exam, while tools like Quizlet ( have in built AI that will test you like a personal tutor while quizzes and games help to keep it light and help a variety of different learning styles. The app has hundreds of millions of study sets so can be used to master any subject you might be studying.

Find the right study environment

Try to find a study environment that works for you, whether it is a desk in a quiet room or in a cafe or library. Get everything into neat, little piles so that you're not drowning in paper and books. You can get inspiration and help from places such as The Student Room and other student dedicated forums.

For many, life is busy and it’s difficult to rely on a set schedule for revision. Use your time to your own benefit, and study when you have a spare moment. Whether it’s your notebook or your favourite study apps on your mobile device, revise when you’re waiting for the bus or riding the train, if you have downtime between school and practice, or when you have breaks at work. Studying on the go is an effective way to master what you’re learning faster. Even 5 or 10 minutes of revision helps take the stress out of feeling that you can’t prioritize study time over other commitments in your day.

Get in the right mindset

Niels Eek, at Remente says that it is beneficial to visualise the examination room before walking into the room test, try to associate the space with something positive and think about previous exams you have done well on.

You're probably going to feel stressed and be nervous so take a moment to breathe deeply - countdown from 10 and repeat the breathing exercise a couple of times. If you find yourself in your assigned seat and overwhelmed with stress, then try progressive relaxation. This involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups in your body. This method is also used by actors before they come onstage, so repeat until you feel calm. If you feel that your hands are shaking, you can try squeezing your thigh muscles, as that can stop the shaking and help you keep calm. Bringing a tennis ball along can also be good, try rolling it under your feet and this will provide both a distraction and a relaxing foot massage.

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