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5 ways to de-stress during exam time

December 8, 2015 | By | No Comments

Samy Beshay is a fourth year medical student at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and what he doesn’t know about tackling exam stress isn’t worth knowing! Read his first-rate tips on how to battle exam-time blues…

With exams looming right around the corner, late nights in the library and copious amounts of coffee are inevitable. And like most of us (myself included) you probably procrastinated throughout the semester and are overwhelmed with how much work you have to do.

Now in my 4th year of medical school, I have learned a lot about staying sane during this ever-stressful exam season. Here are five of my top tips…


We all know Ireland is (in)famous for its rainy and damp weather but one of the best ways to clear your mind is to exercise. Whether it is a brisk walk on St. Stephen’s Green if you’re in Dublin, or a quick jog down Shop Street if you’re in Galway, there are many ways to get out and about! Exercise has proven to release endorphins, which will help you concentrate when you get back to studying!

Eat breakfast

Countless research shows that those who eat breakfast perform better in exams and are better able to concentrate during their studies. While a full Irish breakfast isn’t exactly practical daily, a bowl of cereal and some fruit should be more than enough.

Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is not only important for general health and well being but also for helping your brain process information. Your brain has a way of transferring knowledge from your short-term memory to long-term memory. In order for this to happen, a full sleep is essential. You should aim for at least six hours per night and limit caffeine consumption after 3 or 4pm if you can!


Although exam time usually means buckling down, locking yourself in the library and putting your head to the desk, it is important to socialise outside of studying. During your breaks, grab lunch with a friend or take a walk around the city with someone. Trust me, when you have a friend or colleague to complain to, it makes studying that much easier.

Take a break

Dedicate some time per day to do what you want whether that’s listening to music or watching TV. This will motivate you to study as you progress and will give you something to look forward to. Make sure you take frequent breaks between study sessions in order to prevent burn out.


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