To build resilience in times of stress, you need to reflect on what you already do and what areas you could change. Areas to consider are lifestyle, study skills and self-regulation strategies.
A balanced lifestyle with a good diet, sleep, exercise and social activities are the key to a healthy brain and body. Students that push themselves (e.g. by cramming and staying up late) don't realise that this can result in an increased sense of anxiety and an inability to retain the information and concentrate. Cramming also doesn't help with the retrieval of the information in the long-term.
In addition to a balanced lifestyle, you can improve your performance in exams by adopting strategies that help you calm your body and centre your mind, like mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Also, monitor how you talk to yourself. Identify unhelpful and helpful self-talk and try not getting caught in negative talk-loops. Practice and learn these techniques before the exam.
After the exam, make sure you reward yourself, and consider what worked and what didn't in helping you keep on top of the stress. If things didn't go to plan, check out the 'After the exam' section in the resource page of this module.
If you'd like more information, please phone UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services on 02 9385 5414.