exam in classroom with desks

Tips To Relieve Exam Stress from the Wellbeing Service


Exams can be a stressful period, with the pressure to perform often leading to a heavy toll on both physical and mental health. Recognizing this, our Wellbeing Service is committed to providing you with support and guidance to navigate this challenging time. Our dedicated Workshop Leaders have curated a range of effective techniques and insightful advice to empower you in maintaining a balanced and healthy mindset.

From mindful practices to help you stay present and focused, to advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that supports your cognitive function and energy levels, our Wellbeing Service is here to ensure you are not alone in this journey. We believe that your wellbeing is as essential as your success, and we are here to help you strike a balance between the two.

Remember, it’s not just about getting through your exams; it’s about developing sustainable habits and strategies that support your overall wellbeing in the long term. We hope that these techniques and tips from our Workshop Leaders will not only help you during this exam period but also equip you with valuable skills for managing stress and maintaining wellbeing in your future endeavours.

Simple and Effective Exercises from Buse:

ELATT Wellbeing Officer, Mindfulness & Compassion Teacher, Yoga Instructor

Breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and increase concentration. Here are a few you might find useful:

  • Square Breathing Exercise: Square breathing can shift your energy, connect you more deeply with your body, calm your nervous system, and reduce the stress in your body.
    You can click on the link and watch the video to practise it.
  • 4-7-8 Calm Breathing Exercise: The 4-7-8 rhythmic breathing is a core part of many meditation and yoga practices as it promotes relaxation and can also be used to help you fall asleep in a shorter period of time.
    You can click on the link and watch the video to practise it.
  • Coherent Breathing Exercise: Coherent Breathing is a technique of taking equally long, slow inhales and exhales, resulting in around 5 to 6 breaths per minute. It has been shown to be very calming through its effect on the nervous system and also improves heart rate variability (HRV).

    There are 2 breath cycles at the start with a chime to mark the beginning of each and a pulse – 4 in and 4 out, giving a rate of 5.5 breaths per minute. Follow the pulse if you need or just focus on the two shifting patterns sung by the choir. Sit nice and still and gently breathe through your nose into your belly.

    You can click on the link and watch the video to practise it.

    For optimal results, try practising coherent breathing for 10-20 minutes daily.

Please note: If you’re pregnant or have a breath-related condition like asthma, please do not attempt the breathing exercises!

5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Practice:


This is a simple technique that can help you refocus and alleviate anxiety by bringing your attention to the present moment. By bringing awareness to your surroundings and engaging your senses, you create a grounding effect that helps you regain control and calm your mind. You can use this practice to calm down if you are feeling anxious.

Follow these steps:

  • Name five things you can see around you, such as a table, pen or tree.
  • Name four things you can feel. This step encourages you to connect with your physical sensations, such as the texture of your clothes, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the sensation of your feet on the ground.
  • Name three things you can hear. Like human or car sounds from outside, the chirping of birds, or the sound of your computer.
  • Name two things you can smell, such as the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the perfume in the air.
  • Name one thing you can taste. You may notice the taste of a recent meal or drink in your mouth.

By engaging all of your senses in this exercise, you create a powerful anchor to the present moment, effectively reducing anxiety and helping you regain a sense of calm. The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding exercise can be performed anywhere and at any time, making it an invaluable tool to have in your mental health toolkit.

Tips on Diet from Marie-Anna:

Ex ELATT Student and Wellbeing Workshop Leader

Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet can help you feel better physically and mentally. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. These foods packed with nutrients help improve your mood, concentration, and energy levels.

  • Eat foods that are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that helps to relax the body and mind. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
  • Eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to improve mood and cognitive function. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  • Avoid excessive intake of caffeine, sugary snacks, and processed foods, as they can negatively affect energy levels and concentration. Caffeine and sugar can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to fatigue and irritability. It’s best to avoid these substances during exam time.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and difficulty in focusing. Water can help to improve concentration and energy levels.

Stay Active: Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, improve your mood and increase focus. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

Sleep well: When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to cope with stress and perform at your best. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
Easiest to say than to do? So don’t forget to:

Take Breaks and Relax: When you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to take breaks. Allow yourself regular breaks to relax and recharge. It helps clear your head and come back to your studies refreshed. Engage in activities you enjoy, such as hobbies, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones.

Seek Support: Reach out to friends, family, or teachers for emotional support. Sharing your concerns and seeking advice can help alleviate stress.

Wellbeing Tips from Mouda:

ELATT Student and Wellbeing Workshop Leader

Exams can be stressful on their own, but other things might cause you to feel worse. These might include Feeling like you’re not ready or prepared for exams, like leaving revision too late. Worrying about how you’ll feel and perform during the exam, especially when you don’t know what will be in.

Keep gaps between revisions and drink lots of water. Try not to stress and revise the day before exams. Rather than copying notes, draw mind maps or images to help you remember information. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, take a deep breath.

While revising, focus on the one topic you’re revising now, not on what else you still must cover. If you get stuck on a topic, leave it and come back when you’re fresh. Ask for help from students, your tutor or your student support team if you need it.

If stress affects you, try to find ways to maintain a positive attitude and cultivate a positive approach during your revision. You could

  • Keep fit by taking some exercise you enjoy and relax, perhaps by sitting quietly or meditating eat well, but healthily
  • Get sufficient sleep
  • Take some planned time away from study, rather than feel you’re avoiding revision
  • Be pleased with your achievements as you revise and reward yourself with an occasional treat

If I begin to panic during the exam, I say to myself STOP and then sit back and take several deep breaths to try to relax a little.

Stay positive, work hard, and make it happen! We believe in you. We wish all our students and tutors all the best during the exam period!
- ELATT Team