Tips for a calm and steady approach to assessments

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Assessments and assignments can be uncomfortable experiences for many students, but there is plenty of support, advice and resources on hand to help you stay calm and effective.

Many examinations have been replaced with an online time constrained assessment. This is not the case for all exams, so please check your schedule of amended assessments carefully.

Looking after yourself

It’s important to take care of your mental and physical health to be able to do your best. Plan a sensible schedule and balance your work with eating well, exercising and relaxation. You can find more information and resources for looking after yourself on the Wellbeing website.

Staying calm and being effective

  • Take the time to get comfortable and ensure you get the most out of your studying:
  • Study in an area with lots of natural light to aid concentration and boost your mood.
  • Listen to classical music or nature sounds to help steer your mind to a calmer place freeing you of other distractions.
  • If you’re going to stay alert while revising regular breaks are important. Try taking a 10-minute break every hour for you to stretch your legs.
  • If you find it difficult to concentrate, use headphones or earplugs to dim external noises.
  • Turn your mobile phone off! A 5-minute scroll on social media can quickly turn into half an hour.
  • Try to eat well and regularly. Eating foods which release energy slowly will have a calming effect, keep you fuller for longer and stop you reaching for unhealthy snacks!
  • Practise deep breathing – breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. Deep breathing can help you relax and attain a state of increased calmness.
  • Don’t forget to reach out to family and friends so they can be there to support you, encourage you and offer a listening ear.

After your assessment

Plan to reward yourself for your hard work. After the assessment, do something you enjoy. Whatever you do, don't spend time criticising yourself for where you think you went wrong. Congratulate yourself for the things you did right, learn from the bits where you know you could have done better, and then move on.

Advice and Support

Wellbeing Service

The Wellbeing Service provides advice and support relating to health, mental health and counselling to all USW students.


The Library website has a variety of online resources, including ebooks, online guides and more.

Student Development and Study Skills

Visit the Student Development and Study Skills website to find out about appointments and access practical guidance for assignments.


The University Chaplains are also available to offer support to all students and staff. To speak to the chaplaincy during office hours, please ring 01443 654060. To contact them outside of this time, please ring 03455 760101. Your contact details will be taken, and a chaplain will phone you back. You can also speak to a Chaplain via Skype – to request an individual Skype call or join the Chaplaincy Skype group email, please contact  

Extenuating Circumstances

We recognise that many students are facing disruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, or you are unable to submit an assessment on time due to disruption caused by coronavirus, you can self-certificate for 14 days. If, however, you believe you have individual circumstances which may require further consideration, you can submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim as normal. You will need to do this via Advice Zone Online

Useful Resources

Student Minds – Exam Stress

Student Minds – Support for me

Mind – 14 ways to beat exam stress