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Students share advice for stress, anxiety management during exam season

Zoe Karibian
In a recent survey, many students said they are affected by the added pressure of exams toward the end of the year. Students proposed strategies which can be used to manage anxiety levels during demanding times.

As the end of the academic year approaches, students are preparing for AP exams in May and final exams in June. Whether it’s standardized testing or unit tests, Jagger Price (’26) said there’s no denying that exam season can be incredibly stressful and create anxiety among the student body.

Price said when she is anxious about assessments, she tends to push herself further, leading her to be overwhelmed and exhausted.

“When I am very stressed over exams, I dedicate a lot of my free time to studying and working extra hard, which can make me feel burnt out,” Price said. 

According to an online survey conducted by The Standard May 3 with 108 student responses, 85.3% of students said they have experienced burnout during exam season.

Similarly, Serra Yetkin (’23) said she has also experienced the negative effects of test-induced anxiety on her day-to-day life. 

“I think exam stress does kind of create a general low mood,” Yetkin said. “You can feel it interfering with things you usually do in your daily routine and getting in the way of the fun activities you have planned.”

The NHS states that although stress and anxiety are natural reactions to the pressure of exams, it is crucial to find healthy mindsets to manage these emotions. 

For Ethan Agne (’25), he said spending time outdoors allows him to feel better prepared for upcoming assessments. 

“I find that taking a walk and getting some fresh air before the test helps me clear my head and feel more relaxed,” Agne said. 

Layla Hart (’24) said  taking breaks in one’s daily routine is essential and can be achieved through various activities.

“Taking breaks is also really important,” Hart said. “Give yourself time to relax whether that’s being with friends, working out, or watching TV.”

In addition, Price said spending time with her loved ones can help her relieve her anxiety. 

“I’ll spend time with my friends and family or do just things that I love because it helps take my mind off my exam stress,” Price said.

Yetkin said her strategy is to split her study content into pieces and document her emotions through journaling, which has helped to reduce her exam-associated stress.

“I think journaling tends to help alleviate stress or, when it comes to studying, trying to break things down into smaller, more manageable tasks,” Yetkin said. “That way, studying feels more doable.”

To feel prepared for an exam, Hart said she likes to study enough that she can feel calm during the test, but not to the extent where it may hinder her ability to perform well.

“Studying well helps reduce my stress,” Hart said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean pushing myself to study into the night and spending a long, draining time on it, but doing enough where I feel that I’m confident.”

Similar to Hart, Price uses techniques to divide her assignments, allowing her to feel prepared to approach exams with a greater sense of calm and confidence.

“I think just organizing my notes in a way that makes sense to me and also just timing things so that I’m not doing my work all at once, helps me feel more prepared,” Price said.

Survey results also revealed that 47.1% of students said stress levels negatively affect their performance on the test.

Yetkin said changing one’s mindset can be a powerful tool to approach assessments with a more positive and productive mentality.

Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the process of learning and growth.

— Serra Yetkin ('23)

“Rewiring your mindset helps too because if you’re stressed about attaining a certain result, then that is an unhealthy mindset to have,” Yetkin said. “Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the process of learning and growth.”

Furthermore, Agne said he suggests shifting one’s focus somewhere else to avoid dwelling on the pressures.

“Try not to think about it,” Agne said. “Try to focus your mind on something else.” 

Ultimately, Price said she encourages those struggling with exam stress to focus on their passions and experiment with different management strategies.

“My recommendation is to do the things you love because that definitely does help,” Price said. “Try out new things. Everyone’s different, so see what works best for calming you down.”




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About the Contributor
Zoe Karibian, Media Team
Zoe Karibian ('26) is a member of the Media Team for The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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