What comes to mind when you think of exams? Panic? Confidence? Colourful revision guides or those strange single desks? For some, just the thought of exams fills us with dread.
If you’re taking exams this summer, there’s something you need to know: you are amazing. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), you are God’s handiwork (Ephesians 2:10), and you are a child of God (John 1:12). This identity will stay the same before, during and after your exams. God’s love is not based on grades or performance. Doing our best is important though and we are told to work with all our hearts, as working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).
Here are four quick tips to surviving the exam period:
Be prepared. Make a timetable, make revision cards, colour-code them if that works for you (but don’t spend your entire revision time making a timetable to rival the Sistine Chapel!) If you give yourself goals, it will help you focus and you can build in space for other things.
2) Stay social
Don’t be a hermit! Whilst investing lots of time and effort in revision is important, be sure to stay connected to friends that can support and encourage you – and make you laugh.
3) Look after yourself
Try and keep healthy. Eat well, sleep well, get some fresh air, and stay hydrated (but not too close to the exam!).
4) Try not to worry
Sixth form, college, apprenticeship, uni, gap year, job… A lot can ride on exams. But both Jesus and Paul talked about not worrying (Matthew 6:25-34, Philippians 4:6). Know that ultimately we can make plans but the Lord establishes our steps (Proverbs 16:9).
So, give it your all but try to keep perspective and cut yourself some slack.