Exam season is just around the corner and Wong Wee Mae, an accounting student at Athlone IT, shares her top tips for coping with the stress…

As an accounting student, in order to be fully prepared for my final exam, every day I have to spend hours in attending classes, studying and revising subjects as well as completing assignments. There is an old but true saying that those who do not prepare for success are preparing for failure. However, I do believe that students tend to get stressed easily, especially when they are facing difficulties in passing their exams with high marks. It has been over 6 months since I arrived here in Ireland, and I am really enjoyed studying at Athlone IT. I’ve already tackled exams here in Ireland, so here are my tips for coping with the worry that comes with exam time…

Healthy diet

Food is incredibly important, and maintaining a balanced diet will definitely make you feel better. It will provide you the right nutrients to increase your productivity. Every weekend, I will walk to Lidl or Tesco supermarket to restore my food groceries. Instead of buying microwave meals or frozen pizzas, I would always prefer to buy some fresh vegetables, fish and fruits.

Coldwater fish such as tuna and salmon are rich in amino acids which can improve your brain chemical levels. Eating them means your ability to revise is increased. Flaxseed and walnuts are also recommended, as they are known for keeping your blood pressure low. I love to eat raisins. I like to buy the small boxes and keep them on hand for snacking or adding them into hot cereal. They improve my memory and taste really good.

Get enough sleep

Even if the test is the final exam of a super-important class, it is better to spend your night getting a full eight hours sleep instead of a red-eyed study session. This is because of not getting a full night’s rest can contribute to feelings of exhaustion, stress and anxiety. There are students who stay up late until 4am to study before exam but working through the night and sacrificing sleep can be counterproductive.

Under- and over-sleeping are as bad as each other, so aim for between eight and 10 hours. At first it was difficult for me to sleep when I first arrived here Ireland. To fix this, I got myself into a routine and followed it every night. I will take note of how many hours a night of sleep I need in order to feel refreshed in the morning and get that many hours of sleep every night. Normally I will listen to music and read for 30 minutes before falling asleep. I found out that it’s an effective way to train my body for sleep.


Sports is definitely a great way to release the pressure after a hard day of work. You should go outside and do some physical activities that will relax your muscles. Furthermore, exercising before an exam has been shown to boost memory and brain power. Even 20 minutes of activity, such as walking, can be beneficial.

One of the many great things about AIT is that they do have a variety of sports and excellent facilities. For example, there’s a brand new gym and studio at AIT which can provide you with wonderful guidance, advice and comprehensive fitness programmes to match your fitness level and their membership is extremely affordable too. I’m involved in the AIT womens rugby team and the training is very exciting. Life is about challenging yourself and pushing your body to the maximum. I’ve found out, through rugby and exercise that I feel strong, empowered and accepted.


An organised and tidy study area can help you to get more work done. Making a list and storing your books or documents in an orderly fashion will help when revising for exams.

In additional, I am a visual person, and I find that color-coding my various lists and calendars minimizes the time I have to spend on looking at them.

I think that it is important for me to get into a routine and make sure I don’t spend too much of time focusing on one thing and not enough on everything else. Rome is not build in a day as I have to know how long I’m spending on each topic, and trying to manage my time efficiently. So I can keep track on what I have done from my lists. Many students procrastinate because they simply don’t know how to move ahead when they are facing stress. Therefore, it is important to study earlier before exam and do as well as possible. Having a good mind-set and being relaxed will work wonders.

Interested in studying in Ireland? Find out more by visiting the Education in Ireland website.