Exams can be very stressful. Fortunately, there is a solution to your exam anxiety: mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing your attention and awareness on the present moment. By bringing awareness to what’s happening around you, in you, and within you, you create an ideal environment for relaxation.

When exam season rolls around, many people experience increased stress and anxiety levels. This can affect the way you think, act, and behave and lead to poor exam performance. Before your exams, you need to take control of the way you feel and approach the examination.

Here are some tips on staying calm, relaxing, and staying focused during exams.

Prepare for your exams well in advance.

Exams can be nerve-racking. They are stressful, and in most cases, the more hours you put into studying, the more stressed out you are likely to feel. Make sure you’re prepared and know what to expect to combat this. Familiarize yourself with the exam, and study in advance to minimize stress. Also, start slowly, and pace yourself. Your brain can only handle so much stress-related adrenaline, so taking it easy to start will ensure that you’re well-prepared.

Put the exam in perspective.

Exams are stressful, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Don’t allow your nerves to get the best of you. Instead, learn to calm your nerves during exams. Putting the exam into perspective can help you minimize stress, improve focus, and maximize your performance. Taking time to develop an effective study schedule can help you do well on your exams.

Get a good night’s sleep beforehand.

Exams can be scary. And if you’re stressed out over them, even scarier. If your nerves are getting the best of you and, for the first time, you’re actually beginning to feel panicky about exams, don’t panic. Because there’s a simple, easy solution: get a good night’s sleep the night before your exam. Seriously.

Eat sensibly before the exam.

While you may be tempted to reach for candy bars, sugary sodas, and greasy fast food, these foods could actually hinder your performance. Instead, choose a healthy option like a banana, nuts, or yogurt. Food high in fiber and protein, like yogurt and nuts, takes longer to digest, which will keep you energized and focused. And bananas, which contain potassium and vitamin B, have been proven to help reduce stress, which often causes nervousness.

Stop studying about an hour before the exam.

Preparing for a big exam is stressful, but no one wants to stress out during the exam itself. One way to stay calm during those last few minutes is to stop studying and give yourself some time to reflect on what you’ve already covered. Then, sit quietly and avoid checking the clock. The final 20 minutes will go by in a flash, and you’ll feel better for taking a few minutes to breathe and relax slowly.

Know the time and place of the exam.

Exams are coming whether we want them to or not, so you might as well learn how to calm down during them. Nerves can get the best of us when we’re stressed, and we often end up making careless mistakes, such as eating too much or drinking too much coffee, in an effort to help us focus. Of course, these tricks only work for so long. So, in order to calm your nerves during exams, know when and where the exam is, and, most importantly, how it will go.

Develop positive self-talk.

Anxiety is a debilitating problem that can have serious effects on your life, such as impacting your relationships, career, and general well-being. But the good news is there are ways you can learn to stay calm during exams. For instance, it can be useful to develop positive self-talk and strategies to reduce anxiety.