How to look after your Mental Health and Wellbeing During the Assessment and Exam Period

No ratings yet. Log in to rate.
Graphic saying "Academic Support: Looking After Your Mental Health & Wellbeing During Exams"

Hi, I’m Lucy, one of your Student Mentors. With exam season just around the corner, it’s important to prepare yourself by looking after your mental health and wellbeing. So, here are some tips on how to cope with exam and assignment stress.

Avoid procrastination:

The best way to avoid exam stress is to avoid procrastinating – I know, it’s hard! One way that I find helps me is to use the pomodoro method (a timer which gives you 25 minute portions of studying with 5/10min portions of relaxing), have a look on YouTube to find some pomodoro timers.

Another way that I find helps me focus is listening to instrumental music. I find this helps distract the part of my brain which is desperate for some stimulation from apps like TikTok and Instagram. On a related note, you can download apps that can help you focus and stop you from endlessly scrolling. Apps like Forest deter you from picking up your phone and help you focus by growing trees in your forest as you study. You can also download apps that put time limits on your screen time and the amount of time you spend on specific apps. 

Finally, one way to avoid procrastination is to create a study timetable. This means you can set times to relax and rest but also you have dedicated study time.

Take breaks:

When making a timetable or creating a study routine, it’s important to schedule breaks  to stop yourself from burning out. During these breaks you can rest and relax; watch TV or take naps. You can also get out of the house and exercise or see friends. It’s important to keep a healthy balance between studying, socialising and keeping active. It’s also important to stay hydrated, so make sure you have a water bottle at your desk to keep your mind refreshed.

Try new study methods:

Another way which helps me to feel more on top of my work is trying new study methods. This helps to keep my mind engaged and can make studying more fun – if that’s possible!

  • One example is using mind maps, this can be quite fun because you can use lots of colour and get creative. Maybe try using pictures to remember information too!
  • Another way is to write  snippets of information on post-it notes to help break down large bits of information into bitesize chunks, which can help when you have a lot to memorise. In addition, doing past questions or essay plans can help prepare you for the actual exam or assignment. You could also try sitting mock exams or answering questions in timed conditions. This can help you feel more confident and get you into practice for the real thing.

Talk to someone:

Dealing with assessment stress is not easy. It’s important to reach out if things get too tough – or even just to keep a healthy mind. Talking to friends and family can be helpful, especially as they’ve gone through exams and assignments too.  They might surprise you and give you an exam tip that you’ve never considered before!

There is also UBHeard. UBHeard is a confidential listening and support service for all registered students providing emotional and mental health support. It is open 24/7 and can offer you advice and support on many issues,  including exam stress. You can also access the Guild’s Guild Advice service for academic support, you can contact them online and the team will be more than happy to support you.

Additionally, if you live in university accommodation, why not talk to the Student Mentors? We are a team of 15 current students at UoB, so we know what exam stress can be like. We can help you with information, guidance and support in a range of areas - including academic support and general wellbeing.


My final piece of advice would be to try and rationalise the stress. I know it can be difficult but it’s important to remind yourself that this feeling is normal and won’t last forever.  Many students feel exam stress, even I feel the pressure mounting when an assignment is due. So, it’s important to be kind to yourself, give yourself breaks and treat yourself from time to time. The more stress you put yourself under, the less likely you are going to be able to perform at your peak. A little bit of stress can be helpful for focus but when it gets too overwhelming, it’s time to do something about it.



Back to News