We all know that school and college can be stressful at times, and we could all use some ways to cope with the stress. Be it sleeping, eating, or just general relaxing, there’s a way to cope with A-Level stress no matter who you are.
We’ve compiled a list of the best 15 ways to cope with A-Level stress so you don’t have to. Read through for some helpful hints on what you can do to relieve some of that exam tension…
1. Have A Massive Revision Session (Start Cramming)
It may seem counter-intuitive, but massive revision sessions can actually take some of the weight off of your shoulders.
This is because most exam stress comes from the feeling of not knowing all your content. The more you revise, the more you’ll know – and the less you’ll worry about your A-Level exams.
Revision sessions will also contribute to your exam technique, too. Better exam technique means more marks in your A-Level exams, and therefore less stress for you.
Be careful, though. Cramming too much revision can leave you tired and worn out, and is also a very ineffective way of revising…
2. Create A Revision Timetable (That You Will Actually Stick To)
A great way of making sure you keep up your motivation and reduce stress is by creating a revision timetable.
Revision timetables lay out what you have to revise when, and for how long. You can see exactly what your targets and goals are, and work towards them one step at a time.
This will reduce the amount of stress you feel, as you work towards milestones and get revision done at the same time. It’ll also improve your motivation, as you won’t have to do as much to get to that next level.
Done right, revision timetables can be very effective. Here’s a helpful guide on how to make a revision timetable, if you’re not sure how to get one started.
3. Fix Your Problems By Eating…
This one’s an oddball, but it works for some people. Eating can be a good way to relieve stress, provided you don’t overdo it.
Eating foods that you like releases dopamine in your brain, which is the chemical associated with happiness. By eating tasty food, you can make yourself happier, and relieve some of that intense A-Level stress.
Just don’t go overboard! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but you can make yourself sick by eating too much food, or even develop eating disorders.
To avoid this, I’d suggest mixing this method with some of the others on this list.
4. Spend Some Time With Friends Or Family
It may or may not be obvious, but spending some time away from revision and instead being with friends and family can help you relax and fight the A-Level stress.
I usually spend time with my friends, doing whatever we find enjoyable. Bowling, going out for lunch, shopping, anything – just try to take your mind off of your A-Levels for a while.
Giving your brain a chance to rest and enjoy itself will not only relieve stress, but it will also impact your revision productivity. You’ll be more inclined to revise as you’ll come at it with fresh perspective and newfound effort.
5. Figure Out Exactly What Is Making You Anxious
It might be a specific exam, a certain course, or maybe a topic in your A-Level. Whatever it is, it’s important to identify what’s making you anxious, so that you can deal with it.
The more anxious you feel, the more stressed you’ll be. If you can work out exactly what it is that’s bothering you, you can start to get rid of that anxiety (and eventually, stress).
It’s usually quite easy to figure out what it is that’s making you anxious. For me, it was a certain topic in my A-Level Further Maths course that I hated, and just couldn’t do.
After some hard revision though, it all worked out okay. Work out what it is, and then take the necessary steps to help your situation.
6. Pinch Yourself Every Time You Start Feeling Anxious
I know what you’re thinking: pinch myself every time I get anxious? How is that going to help? Well, read on and I’ll explain…
Introducing negative reinforcement whenever you feel anxious will discourage you from feeling anxious again. What this means is that when you pinch yourself whilst feeling anxious, you’ll start to associate feeling anxious with pain.
No one likes pain, right? When your brain starts to feel anxious, it’ll remember the pain and stop your anxiety. The best part is, it does all of this subconsciously…
It might take some time, but you’ll eventually stop feeling anxious about your A-Levels.
7. Finally Take That Well Earned Nap
Everyone saw this coming, but taking a nap is a great way to get rid of some of your A-Level stress. Take some time out of your schedule to get a few hours of beauty sleep and you’ll feel a lot better.
Just like meeting up with family and friends, this method of coping with A-Level stress works because you give your brain a rest. It’s fairly similar to method 4, but it’s more for you antisocial students.
Giving your brain a break replenishes your motivation, and refreshes your effort. That means better productivity for revision, and less A-Level stress for you.
8. Try Some Breathing Techniques
A common way to deal with stress is to try to regulate your breathing. Luckily for you, it works with all types of stress – A-Level included.
The most effective stress-relieving breathing method is to breathe in deeply through your nose, and then exhale through your mouth.
Repeating this will calm you down and clear your head, leaving you able to deal with your exam stress. You should use this as a way to ground yourself, and keep your head in the game.
To learn more about breathing techniques and why they work, take a look at the NHS website.
9. Avoid All Forms Of Social Media
Social media is like the poison of the revision world. It can distract you from revision, occupy your time, but also make you even more stressed about your A-Levels.
Everyone likes to promote a positive image of themselves on social media. Seeing and comparing yourself to students who say they’re doing well can make you more stressed and worried about failing.
Just try to focus on yourself when revising to avoid increasing your stress. Work on your own revision, and work towards your own success, not someone else’s.
Staying away from social media should also reduce the chances of making someone else feel stressed about their A-Levels, too.
10. Give Your Workspace A Tidy
Giving the place where you do your revision a spring clean can really take off some of that A-Level stress.
Tidying up your workspace has a similar effect on your head. As you tidy up your workspace, your brain also has time to process and organise information.
This increases your understanding of your A-Level content, and therefore should reduce the amount of stress you feel.
The great thing about this method is that it doesn’t take long, and has multiple benefits. You help yourself cope with A-Level stress, and also make your place of work a little bit more organised.
11. Get Yourself Into Some Good Habits
Sometimes, all you need to get rid of some A-Level stress is to start some good habits. They don’t have to be much, but bettering yourself improves mental capacity and reduces stress.
Habits such as showering every day, getting good amounts of sleep, and eating healthily are all proven to reduce stress. This is because they all maintain your physical self, and your mental self will benefit from that.
Keeping good habits will also improve your self motivation, meaning you’re likely to revise more. That will help you cope with your A-Level stress, as you prepare for your exams.
12. Take A Break And Just Do Something You Love
Seeing your friends and family is great and all, but sometimes you need a little break all to yourself. Doing something you love on your own is a good way to reflect on what you’ve learnt, but also take your mind off of A-Level stress.
By doing something you enjoy, you take up a lot less brainpower than revision. You give your brain some downtime to absorb all of your revision, and that will lead to less stress for you.
For me, I generally like to sit down and read a book. That’s not the same for everyone though, so make sure you find something to do that you enjoy.
13. Do Some Exercise
Exercise is a great way to take your mind off of your A-Levels, and work on something else instead. Not only that, but you make your body healthier too.
Exercise is good for both your body and your mind. Exercise will make you feel good about yourself, and take some of the weight off your shoulders from your A-Levels.
You can do exercise as regularly as you like. I’d suggest weekly, or maybe even every other day – the more you do it, the less stress you’ll feel about your A-Levels.
14. Put Your Goals In Perspective
One of the problems many students have when trying to cope with A-Level stress is not focusing on the end goal.
Your A-Levels are important, and keeping focused on what you’ll do with them will motivate you to revise. More revision will result in less stress, and will make it easier to cope with your A-Levels.
It might not even be what you’ll do with your A-Levels – sometimes just that aim of a certain grade in a certain subject is enough. Whatever you do, keep your focus on your goals, and try not to think too much about how much work you have to do.
15. Stop Blaming Yourself!
Whatever your situation, this stress your feeling isn’t your fault! Everyone gets stressed about A-Levels, it’s quite a normal reaction.
A-Levels are very hard, and stress is part of the deal. Don’t blame yourself if you feel like you’re doing bad, you probably just need more practice – revision will make it easier.
If you are lagging behind in terms of grades, don’t beat yourself up over it. The better you feel about yourself, the less stress you’ll feel as a result of A-Levels.
So take some time out for yourself, try out some methods on this list, and help yourself cope with A-Level stress.