Exam looming? How to use pressure to your advantage


EXAMS. We hate that word.  Although nothing can quite beat the feeling of completing one. That little rush of adrenaline that allows you to write the final sentence and complete the final fraction. Adrenaline can be used to our advantage … and so can pressure.

Side note: It’s important to realise there are different types of pressure. Intrinsic and extrinsic. The former being pressure form within, and the latter being pressure from external sources. Whilst pressure from outside, like family or teachers, may help us achieve highly it often leaves us feeling drained and ultimately burnt out. However, pressure from within can be sustained and maintained over longer periods of time. This intrinsic motivation allows us to be successful and self-motivated for longer ultimately getting us further. Analyse what pressure you feel, whether internally or externally applied. Perhaps you need to have a conversation with someone, or yourself. We are our own harshest critics, so go easy.

Pressure allows us to see the true meaning and value of something. Pressure is placed on students, sometimes exceedingly, to allow them to see the importance of what they are undertaking. But when too much pressure is applied, it can be overwhelming and, well, suffocating!

When applied appropriately, pressure reveals the importance of what we are undertaking and can help us achieve much higher. I don’t know about you, but studying is not the highlight of my week. If I didn’t have any pressure on me, I would probably give up after the first two flashcards. It is not fun, it’s quite tedious and it can cause extreme boredom. This is when pressure can come in handy.

Applying just the right amount of pressure keeps our mind and body focused and motivated on the tasks ahead. It allows us to push through when we otherwise may have given in. Pressure, like adrenaline, allows us to write the final sentence and complete the final fraction. Pressure allows us to align our prioritise and shows us what matters to others, what matters to ourselves and what matters to our future. If there is pressure surrounding a job interview it might be because it’s important. If there is pressure surrounding a test, it’s because it matters.

Pressure, when applied appropriately, allows us to adjust to our circumstances, align our priorities, strive through that final hour of study and realise what truly matters. So, bring on the pressure!

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