Stress Relief or How I Learned to Love Writing Exams …. Mostly ….

Stress Relief . . . 
. . . or . . .
How I Learned How to Love Writing Exams
. . . mostly . . .

Been there. Done that. What could go wrong?

Well, sometimes nothing, sometimes everything and sometimes … a bit of both.

I have written my fair share of exams. I can barely remember a handful of ACTUALLY writing them, and few still of how I did. But, I could find my U of Calgary transcripts … or maybe my B.Ed. degree … to prove I survived.

There are no hard and fast strategies that always work to reduce exam stress. You really have to find what works for you. And no guarantee it works every single time.

For me, simple meditation works. At least, it works now …. but not always.  That is why they call it a ‘practice’ of meditation.

Unfortunately, I did not have that as a strategy when I was an undergrad. One of those…. “if I only knew then, what I know now“!

Back then, I relied on the oldest strategy known  to every student in the world – blind luck! I simply HAD to wear my lucky Edmonton Oilers jersey AND I had to bring the ball from my most recent raquetball game … that I won! Simple! 

Multiple-choice, short answer, math/stats type exams were fairly straight forward for me. The most imaginative study trick came from a Stats Instructor. We could bring in a 4×6 recipe card with ANYTHING WE WANTED ON IT! What a great idea! Forced us to study what we were uncertain of, by writing it down and bringing it with us to the test. And I barely referenced it …  because I had studied what I was unsure of! And I got an A in the course! WOOT!

I did hate open book exams. They were simply THE hardest to write because you would THINK they would be easy …  but you wasted time looking up answers that you SHOULD have known. Oh well, not too many like that.

But the worst exams for me were LONG ANSWER  or ESSAY EXAMS! Dates, people, documents, history, facts …. SO many blank pages, so little grey  matter!

I basically would get the answer booklet, then turn to the last page and purge every fact, date, document reference, etc. IMMEDIATELY. I did not even LOOK  at the questions. Then, I would look at the first question and .. I had just written my own cheat sheet! Other info would pop into my head and I was able to complete these horrific long answer/essay exams.

And I have been on the ‘Other Side’ of exams … crafting them so that the exam would truly reflect the knowledge base of each student. The last thing you want is to have an exam where either achievement is random or that it does not discriminate between students who DO KNOW the material and those who do not. 

And although it is not available right now, Walking the Labyrinth by Candlelight at the  UVic Multifaith Centre has been incredibly beneficial to me. Once, I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE CHAPEL WALKING THE LABYRINTH! Best meditation experience I have ever had! I came out to a pitch black night, stars twinkling brighter than ever and totally refreshed!

Bottom line is there will  be something that can help you study, minimize anxiety and improve your test scores. Maybe not all the time, but most of the time, hopefully. 

The links below are ALL UVic sites! Well, the very last one, #10, is the only non-UVic site I listed. To be fair, there are hundreds of sites out there, and IUVic thought I would concentrate on the UVic sites I could find and … just one more. And a nice little pause at #9 … to just take a moment and relax ‘MIDST my links!

Everyone stay safe and healthy, whether working at UVic or at home. 

  1. Meditation at UVicMultifaith Centre  (Works for me!)
  2. Walking the Labyrinth (Unfortunately, not available, but …. AMAZING!)
  3. Zoom On-line Morning Meditation with Henri
  4. How to Beat Exam Stress – OAC My UVic Life (Shameless OAC Placement!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  5. Tips for Exam Season (UVic … and advice still timely and relevant!)
  6. Coping with Exams and Exam Anxiety (UVic!)
  7. Anxiety and stress (UVic! Sensing a trend…..)
  8. UVic Student Mental Health Blog 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  9.                         (left blank on purpose …. a stress free resource!)
  10. How to Beat Exam Stress: 25 Tips Backed by Research (The ONLY  non-UVic site!)
  11. Workplace Wellness (An OAC UVic site!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  12. Resilience Resources (A subsite of Workplace Wellness!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥

University of  Victoria Labyrinth Multifaith Chapel

And, well, just don’t write an exam like Mr. Bean!