Students Linda Ekern Olsen (left), Veronica Nerland Madsen, Kjell Arne Bergli and Matt Baker preparing their home exam. Photo: Pavla Ujmiakova

Exam stress squishing

Exam period is ready to ride over you like a steamroller and leave you flat and exhausted on the ground. Well, that is inevitable, but you can do something to get ready for the squishing.


Everyone who ever studied or study at university or college knows that exam period is tough and that every semester it adds couple extra years of age under their belts. Stress is the main issue and stress is the keyword. It can cause complication, such as forgetfulness, blurred vision, difficulty falling asleep or migraines. As you could imagine, those does not really help effective exam preparation.

So what to do to fight it? The best way would be to plan exam preparation well for the whole semester, do assigned readings on time and spend proper time on homework as soon as it is given and thereby avoid that accumulation of study related work resulting in stress.

There is a catch though; no one really does it that way. If you do, on behalf of Panorama, I salute you. You do not need to read the rest of this article.

The stress accumulation seems to be inevitable. Here are a couple of advices that can come in handy.

Take a brake every now and then. Even if you are in a lot of pressure, and it seems there is no time for relaxation, do it anyway. Five ten minute chat with your friend about non-study related topic is going to boost your mood up and replenish your motivation. You will soon realize that the tempo of reading sped up, you easily made up for those brakes and your stress level went significantly down.

Web pages such as Facebook, 9GAG and Pinterest are especially tempting when you read for your exam. It is a well-known fact that many fall for this temptation. Do so, as was mentioned earlier, brakes are very healthy. But try to reduce the time you spend on them to a minimum. And it is absolutely crucial that you do not feel guilty about doing so. Guilt is a stress trigger.

Blue colored light benefits your productivity.
Blue colored light benefits your productivity. Photo: Pavla Ujmiakova

Colors have been proven to stimulate brain. Blue is known to be the color of concentration and productivity. From my own experience, I know that lights in college dorm rooms are usually very bright and unfortunately unpleasant. Obtaining remote controlled color shifting light bulb could kill two birds with one stone and allow you to avoid actually painting your walls blue. In my studies, this stimulation proved itself to be very effective and in times of relaxation playing around with colors creates very enjoyable atmosphere in your room as well.

Exercise! It is one of the most effective stress killers and antidepressants. If time is an issue, even quick workout in your room will wash the stress away

In addition, student advisor Eva-Merete Otterlei Børstad at HiMolde offers these advices:

“If the students feel a lot pressure, focusing on basic needs is crucial. They should eat well and sleep enough. They should relax based on their personal preferences, but getting some fresh air is advisable. I also recommend to study in school and recognize that as your working environment, while home to be a relaxing place. I would definitely suggest skipping parties in the exam period and try to limit alcohol intake to a minimum. As we know alcohol enlarge any feeling you have when you start drinking, so instead of relaxation the stress would just multiply. I would also advise every student to stop studying at least two hours before they are going to sleep. They need to calm their brains out, relax and let the huge amount information, they gained over whole day, settle in their minds.”

Panorama wishes you good luck in the ongoing exam period.