So, your exams are around the corner and the big day is approaching… even the phrase ‘exam’ makes you break out in a cold sweat at this point. Here’s how to stay calm when you’re under a lot of pressure.

Say ‘NO’ to caffeine:  Caffeine, our very own guilty pleasure. Yes, for an hour or two, it could make you more productive. Three double espressos for breakfast, on the other hand, isn’t going to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. The first shot is fantastic — you’re alert, motivated, and eager to take on the world. But keeping the expression ‘what goes up must come down’ in mind, you’d realize that caffeine is just momentary satisfaction which ruins your energy levels the rest of the day.

Get your z’s: Getting adequate sleep will be critical to your mental clarity and general health. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that staying up late studying is a great way to cram for exams. Sending Snapchats of your notes, a can of Red Bull, and the clock reading 3 a.m. would only be a tad bit cool until one look at those eyebags would only send the pitiful stares your way.

Manifest that mindset: People are not entirely wrong nor mistaken when they say that manifesting a positive mindset does all the good. If you enter an examination hall with the thought that you’re going to perform poorly or even fail the examination, then it is most likely that you will do that without even attempting your best shot. Instead, try manifesting a mindset that is completely opposite to your current one- repeat a mantra that says “I am going to ace this exam” till you actually believe it yourself and make it happen. A positive mindset makes all the difference!

Study with the melodies: It may seem unusual, but classical music has been shown to lower stress and increase productivity. When we listen to it, our brains release dopamine – how cool is that? If you’re having trouble finding the right music to accompany your test anxiety, consider Debussy’s Clair De Lune. Apart from our very beloved classical music, one could instead even listen to white noises which seems to increase our levels of concentration, you won’t even get distracted by the lyrics!

Get yourself groovin’ & movin’: Exercising is a blessing. I know, it’s evident, but this one is crucial. I’m not suggesting you jump up and run a marathon but taking a stroll in between classes can help you tremendously. If you’re looking to get some serious exercise in, joining a jogging group or attending a gym class will help you relax and focus on your studies. Make the most of endorphins, your best buddy.

McDonald’s vs your kitchen: When your cortisol levels are sky-high and the golden M of McDonald’s never seems to be far away, I understand how difficult it is. Although the drive-through may be screaming your name, plenty of water and good food in the days leading up to a test will serve you far better than a supersize Big Mac and Coke. That said, don’t be too hard on yourself if you inadvertently inhale a box of Maltesers after a night of revision- don’t sweat it, we’ve all done it.

We hope these tips and tricks help you during the examination period. All the very best!