I feel anxious about exams and coursework deadlines – is this extenuating circumstances? Should I not sit my exams?
Exams and academic assessments are designed to test your academic performance under a certain amount of stress, such as performing under exam conditions or completing a piece of work by a deadline. We often need a certain level of stress to help us to perform well.
Feeling ‘fit to sit’ is not about being on peak performance or feeling like you can perform at 100% efficiency – this is not realistic for anybody. It is quite common to feel anxious in the run up to an exam, to find it difficult to eat and to have a bad night’s sleep. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are not ‘fit to sit’.
Having ordinary feelings of stress or anxiety is part of everyday life, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unwell or have mental health difficulties. Building emotional resilience is useful, as it will help you to manage the day to day stresses that we all feel at certain times.
Studying can be demanding, particularly at times of extra pressure such as exams, deadlines and presentations. There are also other factors in your student experience which might cause stress, for example, living away from home, cohabiting with other students, or money issues.
Improving your emotional resilience will help you perform better in your studies and will prepare you for the stresses of working life. More information on building emotional resilience, and further reading on this topic, is available on the Advice and Counselling Service website. You can also find support for managing anxiety and a blog post from a counsellor about taking care of your wellbeing during exam periods.
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.