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10 Stages of Exam Stress

Written by Christine Rees

Quick, hide under the blankets! It’s nearly here!

Exam stress is expected during exam season. I mean, how could it possibly be avoided? We are under pressure to remember EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN about a subject in order to earn a passing grade (deep breaths people, it will be fine). Exam stress is something we all relate to because we’ve been there. We faced all of its horrible stages: crying, procrastination, freakouts, regret and everything in between.

Now, let’s recount them with fun GIFs!

The Guilties

guilty as charged

Everyone else is studying and this is something I should be doing too, but I don’t want to. So, maybe I’ll just think about doing it later…?

Procrastination

procrastination, exam stress

It’s not like the exam is tomorrow anyway. We have time, so why stress about committing to it now?

Regret

parks & rec "Oh this is bad"

Of course, once we start procrastinating, we usually regret it because suddenly we are far less prepared than we thought we would be at this point. Additionally, this makes our next study session that much harder to commit to because there will be more work involved.

Punishment

The Breakfast Club, "Why'd You Do That?"

And now that we’ve been procrastinating, we begin punishing ourselves for it rather than studying. Great job, friends. #crushingexams

Bargaining

New Girl, "Help Me!"

Basically, if we can get a 75% or higher we’ll be fine… OR maybe someone else can take the test for us. No, that won’t work. Okay, what happens to our grade if we get a 60%?

Realization Strikes

Frustrated

Yes! I know this stuff! It will be easy. No, wait this is new. Why is this new? I have to relearn all of this. Crap, crap, crap, crap. Did we cover this in class? Will this be on the exam? I’m in so much trouble.

Hopelessness

Patrick Star Giving Up

I’ve done the best I can with the brain I have. If I don’t pass, I give up.

Cold Panic

Kermit the Frog biting nails

Now we’re standing outside the exam room with other nervous students. What if we forget everything we spent forever studying and there are things on the test we didn’t cover? Or what if we’re too dumb for a passing grade? What if… what if… we just want this to be OVER.

Exam

squirrel breathing heavy

We stare down at the first page, muscles growing stiff as we completely FREEZE UP until finally we see something we recognize. Aha! We can answer that one. 

Acceptance

tossing papers in the air

Well, we tried our best. It’s all over now. Oh, wait. That means it’s DONE like it’s actually done. Can we get champagne this early? 

If you’re looking for the perfect study spot to crush those exams, check out Finding The Best Study Locations.

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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.