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Keeping your cool in exams

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Three students are sat at a desk working on their studies

Exam season has arrived and for many students, this means more stress! Whether you have an IELTS exam, a SELT test or a General English exam, there are a few ways to reduce the negative aspects of exam anxiety.

If you're looking out the window wishing for summer or if you feel trapped at your desk in a last-minute panic, these tips will help you keep your composure so you can focus on your studies!


Organise your revision. Allow plenty of time to revise and keep record of any books or notes you might need. Make a plan from the start for what you need to revise and stick to it!

Do not spend all of your time revising. Spend some time on your hobbies or socialise with friends and family.

Make your studies more interesting by comparing your course material to real-life events, such as the news or your work.

Take regular breaks

Studies have shown that taking regular breaks can significantly help with long-term memory retention.

Everyone is different so choose a study schedule that suits you. If you’re a morning person, why not study early in the morning and then have a lunch break? Take a longer break later in the day if you're more productive at night.

Have a look at past exams

Past papers are easy to access and give you a good understanding of what could be on your exam and how it will be structured.

Now, don't expect the same questions to be in the exam. Past papers are only meant to serve as a guide to help you understand how the exam works and what they expect of you.

Our IELTS course will give you access to Cambridge materials and practice tests as well as downloadable course audios.


Sleep is by far the most effective way to prepare for a major exam. The night before the exam, it's too late to practise or learn something, so the only thing you can do is get as much sleep as possible. If you still need to do something, go over your old notes or brush up on your vocabulary, but that's it!

Life is full of opportunities! Even if you don’t achieve your desired score, you will be able to take the exam again, or you can choose a different career path.

Exams may seem to be important, but it is only a small part of your life. Whatever the outcome, it will not define you as an individual or prevent you from achieving your objectives in the future.

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